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Denis Brian

The unexpected Einstein

Einstein is such a well known scientist that he is often put on a pedestal, to be exhibited as an example to us all. Then again there are those who delight in knocking him off this pedestal. Either way such a famous person is likely to have myths arise about him. Following on from his recent biography of Einstein, in this book Denis Brian tackles some of the stories to sort out the truth from the fiction. He gives an readable insight into the character of Einstein so the book is worth reading even if you don't believe the myths in the first place and so normally wouldn't bother with such debunking.

The book starts off with Einstein's childhood and his family life. We see that he was a bright child, not particularly a late developer as some have speculated. In married life he wasn't the dedicated husband and father some would hope, and neither was he the scientist only interested in his work - he was married twice and had several affairs. I found these early chapters the most interesting - the later ones were more concerned with his position as a celebrity scientist and not so specific, although there is the amusing story of how the FBI created a long and mostly fictitious dossier on his activities, but missed his affair with a Soviet spy.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews