Einstein in Time and Space: A Life in 99 Particles (Hardcover)
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Walter Isaacson’s Einstein meets Craig Brown’s 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret, in this innovative biography of the famous physicist told in ninety-nine dazzling vignettes.
Most of us would agree that Albert Einstein’s name is synonymous with “genius” and that his likeness is often used as a shorthand for all scientists, appearing everywhere from cartoons to textbooks. He has become more myth than man. That being the case, how best to capture his essence?
In Einstein in Time and Space, talented young science journalist Samuel Graydon answers that question with an illuminating mosaic—99 intriguingly different particles that cumulatively reveal Einstein’s contradictory and multitudinous nature. Glimpsed among these shards: a slacker who failed every subject but math, a job seeker who couldn’t get hired, a lothario who courted many women, and a charmer who was the life of the party. As brilliant as he was inconsistent, Einstein was simultaneously an avid supporter of the NAACP and the fight for civil rights and someone capable of great prejudice. He was loved by many, known by few, and inspirational to a generation of young physicists. Graydon reveals every corner of Einstein’s world: the false reporting that rocketed Einstein to fame nearly overnight, his effect on people he met merely in passing, even the remarkable posthumous journey of the famed physicist’s brain.
Entertaining, comforting, bolstering, and shocking, Einstein in Time and Space is the unique story of a man who redefined how we view our universe and our place within it.
About the Author
Samuel Graydon is the science editor at The Times Literary Supplement. He has published short fiction and has been longlisted for an Alpine Fellowship. He studied English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford. He and his family live in Bath, UK.
“A mosaic biography of an exceptional scientist...[pieced together] with illuminating skill, style, candor and charm.”
—Times Literary Supplement
“Graydon has done a fine and often fascinating job here, and anyone with an interest in science and scientists will absolutely lap this up.”
—Mail on Sunday
“One of the most fascinating human beings of the last centuries…rendered with a vivid concreteness that, I believe, can enrich us all.”
—Carlo Rovelli, bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
“Insightful…This engaging account of a legendary figure should be of interest to many.”
“Impressionistic…those who choose this as their introduction to Einstein will not regret the experience.”
“Every once in a while a book comes along that you can’t put down. Graydon has fashioned an insightful, profound, and sometimes humorous biography that captures the personal life and contradictory character of the wunderkind that is Einstein….A new complex image of this amazing thinker bursts into view.”
—Marc J. Seifer, author of Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius
“Graydon reveals Einstein, warts and all, in a marvelous way that few if any previous biographies have ever managed. Each scene impels you to read the next, making it hard to put the book down. A highly original, irresistibly engaging portrayal of history’s most iconic scientist. Bravo!”
—Michael Guillen, author of the international bestseller Five Equations That Changed the World
“Albert Einstein's life was as multifaceted and challenging as the universe he described. The best way to appreciate it is to break the story down into small pieces, a job that Samuel Graydon has done brilliantly. This book provides us with a uniquely compelling look at the human side of one of the greatest thinkers of all time.”
—Sean Carroll, author of The Biggest Ideas in the Universe: Space, Time, and Motion
“What a great book. Through 99 short, charmingly written vignettes, Graydon shows not just the tremendous range of Einstein’s life—the luckless job seeker, the ladies man, the political activist, the wise professor. With deft elegance he also gets across the deep science that transformed our vision of the universe forever.”
—David Bodanis, author of E=mc2: A Biography of the World’s Most Famous Equation
“All too often, Albert Einstein is presented as a towering genius on a pedestal. In this refreshing, accessible, and inspirational book, Samuel Graydon takes him off that pedestal and show his humanity. In the end we’re left with the realization that the man’s great scientific discoveries were informed by both his strengths and his foibles.”
—W. Bernard Carlson, author of Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age
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