Blends the brilliance of the scientific genius with the compassion, playfulness, and wit of the private figure<br> <br> "A fascinating read with more interesting material about Einstein as a human being than I have ever seen before."--Robert Jastrow, astrophysicist and bestselling author<br> <br> "A thoughtful and captivating account of one whom I had the joy of knowing and loving."--George Wald, Nobel Prize Laureate<br> <br> His face is one of the most recognized on the planet. His very name is synonymous with genius. Yet, for all the attention and countless biographies, our images of Albert Einstein rarely go beyond the eccentric and larger-than-life scientist unraveling one cosmic mystery after another.<br> <br> In this engaging popular biography, Denis Brian draws on a wealth of new information recently opened to the public to bring us a broader, more authentic portrait of Einstein than previously available. The first full-scale Einstein life published in 20 years, it is also the first to integrate Einstein's genius with his private and public life to give us a complete impression of the real person.<br> <br> We meet an Einstein with a gift for friendship, a romantic with a roving eye for women. We confront a man whose countless scientific triumphs were tempered by tragic ironies in his personal life. We encounter Einstein the humanist who showed compassion for the children of others yet neglected his own sons. We learn from his former assistants how they revered Einstein, how he worked at his science, and of his warm relationships with other physicists.<br> <br> Based on information drawn from new access to the Einstein archives as well as exclusive interviews with colleagues and friends, Einstein: A Life reveals an endearing and sensititve man, but one slightly detached from even those closest to him, as if he inhabited his own world of lofty thoughts and cosmic dreams.<br> <br> DENIS BRIAN (West Palm Beach, Florida) is the author of The True Gen: An Intimate Portrait of Hemingway by Those Who Knew Him and Genius Talk: Conversations with Nobel Scientists and Other Luminaries.
This new biography attempts a balanced assessment of the most famous scientist of modern times. Brian (Genius Talk: Conversations with Nobel Scientists and Other Luminaries, 1995) draws on material recently released from Einstein's archives, much of it concerning less than flattering aspects of his private life. The reader learns of rumors of a daughter, Liserl, who may have been given up for adoption; of his mentally ill son Eduard, who died in a Swiss psychiatric hospital; of a long string of affairs; of the recent allegations that his first wife, Mileva, was an unacknowledged collaborator in the discovery of the Relativity Theory. Brian does not try to make too much of this material, most of which is at best peripheral to Einstein's life and achievement. (The allegations concerning Mileva, which have been trumpeted by feminist critics, he dismisses as unfounded.) Nor does he much alter our perception of the key issues of Einstein's scientific work - relativity and the search for a Unified Field Theory, which dominated the last three decades of his career. Einstein's flight from Nazi persecution, the letter to FDR that spurred the creation of the Manhattan Project, and his tireless work on behalf of the founding of Israel are given full and illuminating treatment. Likewise, we get a clear picture of his humble, almost bohemian, daily life; of his playful sense of humor and his love of music; and of the awe he inspired in many of those close to him. We also get a disturbing look at the fear and hatred he inspired in others, illustrated by excerpts from his voluminous FBI file. Brian draws on an impressive range of sources, from ordinary people who happened to cross Einstein's path to the scientists with whom he worked. The only serious shortcoming is Brian's style, which occasionally borders on the soporific. Sometimes slow-moving, but a comprehensive and evenhanded treatment of Einstein in the wake of recent charges against his character. (Kirkus Reviews)