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Extended Audio Sample Einstein: His Life and Universe Audiobook, by Walter Isaacson Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.19 out of 54.19 out of 54.19 out of 54.19 out of 54.19 out of 5 4.19 (31 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Walter Isaacson Narrator: Edward Herrmann Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2007 ISBN: 9780743560979
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The definitive, internationally bestselling biography of Albert Einstein. Now the basis of Genius, the ten-part National Geographic series on the life of Albert Einstein, starring the Oscar, Emmy, and Tony Award–winning actor Geoffrey Rush as Einstein.

How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson’s biography shows how Einstein’s scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom. Einstein explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk—a struggling father in a difficult marriage who couldn’t get a teaching job or a doctorate—became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos, the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom, and the universe. His success came from questioning conventional wisdom and marveling at mysteries that struck others as mundane. This led him to embrace a morality and politics based on respect for free minds, free spirits, and free individuals.

Einstein, the classic #1 New York Times bestseller, is a brilliantly acclaimed account of the most influential scientist of the twentieth century, “an illuminating delight” (The New York Times). The basis for the National Geographic series Genius, by the author of The Innovators, Steve Jobs, and Benjamin Franklin, this is the definitive biography of Albert Einstein. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Isaacson has done a remarkable job conveying a sense of Einstein the man and also the fine details of Einstein’s science. This is not only a compelling biography, one in which the next page always beckons, but an example of science writing at its best.” 

    Lawrence Krauss, Foundation Professor of the School of Earth and Space Exploration; director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University; and author of A Universe from Nothing 

  • “A wonderfully rounded portrait of the ever-surprising Einstein personality.” 

    New York Times

  • “Thoroughly researched and well written, Einstein does an excellent job of summarizing the concepts behind Einstein’s theories…Isaacson also does an excellent job illuminating Einstein’s personality.” 

    Baltimore Sun

  • “Isaacson has triumped…producing a thorough exploration of his subject’s life, a skillful piece of scientific literature and a thumping good read…It’s one of the greatest stories of modern science and to his credit…Isaacson has done a first-rate job in telling it. This is, quite simply, a riveting read.” 

    Guardian (London)

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelby Fleischer | 2/5/2014

    " How else can you understand both the character and how physics were changed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark Kaplan | 1/6/2014

    " INteresting, easy to read, and educational. What more could you ask? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gary Smith | 1/4/2014

    " Very good read with a nice dose of since thrown in. It explains many of Einstein early "though experiments" in some detail, but nothing you need to have a PhD in Physics to understand. Book covers his entire life. This book was read by Steve Jobs and it is the book that caused him to ask its author, Walter Isaacson, to write his own biography (after Steve Jobs realized he had cancer). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ton Boelens | 12/31/2013

    " This is the second book by Walter Isaacson I have read. I enjoyed it very much. Isaacson also managed to make the theories of Albert Einstein understandable to a non-scientist (me). Turing award winner and AI researcher Judea Pearl believes that the best way to educate students about science is through the life histories of great scientists. Reading this book I experienced this effect myself, because combining biographical (chronological!) information with info about the theoretical breakthroughs these people made in the same period, makes it much easier to digest the physics and math. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tsimplekelly | 12/28/2013

    " This book was very telling, history can be so one dimensional. This book brought at least a second dimension to Einstein's life for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracie | 12/3/2013

    " This book was fascinating, but the physics chapters were quite difficult to plow through. The author tried to explain most of it in layman's terms, but some of it just can't be. I wanted to understand vectors and fields so instead of skimming, I read and reread. I probably should've just skimmed vectors and fields. The biographical part was excellent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dianne | 11/28/2013

    " I waited for this one and wasn't disappointed. So many personal details made it rich reading. The personalities of those he corresponded and worked with were varied and quirky and dishy even though they were a bunch of scientists and mathemeticians. Well worth the time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alex | 11/2/2013

    " This has to be "one of" the better biographies ever written' "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suprie1983 Pt | 10/8/2013

    " I finished read this book. When he died, i felt losing someone close.. really great biography of Einstein "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 8/30/2013

    " A compelling read for a train ride. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott Carson | 8/17/2013

    " Great book about Einstein's life and science. Very readable. It provides good insight into the intellectual and emotional life of one of the 20th centuries greatest minds. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gregg | 5/3/2013

    " Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooring...........I quit after page 112 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff Anderson | 2/20/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book. I felt like the author helped me enter Einstein's world a little bit and see him as a human being instead of an icon. The descriptions of discoveries and science seemed to be accurate while remaining accessible. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jodie Landes | 11/15/2012

    " Normally I'm not a biography type of person, but this was well-paced and incredibly informative! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judithproller | 3/26/2012

    " Very dense, multidimensinal portrait. Skippe a lot of the science I did not understand. However, his philosophies and personality were really wonderful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leigh | 3/5/2012

    " Currently reading and will always be reading. Its a BIG book. Good reading and spans an interesting time in history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tuck | 1/25/2012

    " fantastic bio of albert. you get his science plus his politics. especially interesting after usa uses the ABOMB, as einstein pushes hard for a one world federalism to manage atomic uses. or, he said, we would be fated to an atomic arms race. he was right. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dorlene | 1/20/2012

    " Very insightful biography of a man who was much more than a brilliant scientist. We are fortunate that Isaacson was able to obtain access to Einstein's personal correspondence. I'm looking forward to reading his bio of Ben Franklin next. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ean Schuessler | 12/1/2011

    " A well crafted and easy read that takes you through an amazing mix of world war II, the foundations of modern physics and the struggle of a brilliant man to understand his racial and religious identity. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lindsey | 11/20/2011

    " the best. it was especially sweet when i went cross-eyed from all the physics. bc getting high is fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Drue | 5/17/2011

    " very good book- breaks up his life into decades and smaller time scales- delves into personal life and professional life- explains things in easy to understand terms "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joshua | 5/17/2011

    " While this was a very informative and detailed book, there were moments where i felt the author lost his way and fumbled through a few sections. Even with the hiccups, this is well worth the read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie | 5/15/2011

    " I listened to this a few months ago to get an introduction to Einstein. I enjoyed the balance between Einstein's family life and his intellectual pursuits. The reader was engaging.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 J.P. | 5/8/2011

    " This is precisely how a biography should be. Expertly researched and masterfully written, this book is as brilliant as Albert Einstein himself "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sam | 4/28/2011

    " A fascinating look at the life and times of science's greatest celebrity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Juan | 4/26/2011

    " Shows einstein as the person he probably was.. vey well linked to the world situation at the moment, specifically highlighting nacionalism and anti-semitism "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Miranda | 4/17/2011

    " This book made me appreciated Einstein more than ever. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hashim | 4/3/2011

    " A revealing pretrial of the life of a true genius! This book also shows the human side of Prof. Einstein. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leticia | 3/26/2011

    " I could not stop reading it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nonie | 3/23/2011

    " Read about 1/3. The science was above me. Then I cam across another book by Bill Bryson that explained stuff (like the random principle) in words I could understand; so I quit this biography and took up that book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelby | 3/21/2011

    " How else can you understand both the character and how physics were changed. "

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About the Author
Author Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, has been chairman of CNN and the editor of Time magazine. He is the chairman of the board of Teach for America, an organization that recruits recent college graduates to teach in underprivileged communities; he was also appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other international broadcasts of the United States. He is the author of Steve Jobs, Einstein: His Life and Universe, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, and Kissinger: A Biography. Isaacson currently lives with his wife and daughter in Washington, DC.

About the Narrator

Edward Herrmann (1943–2014) was one of America’s top audiobook narrators. He won multiple Earphones and Audie Awards, and his narration of the King James version of the Bible remains a benchmark in the industry.