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Renn, Jürgen / Gutfreund, Hanoch

Einstein on Einstein

Autobiographical and Scientific Reflections


    57,95 € / $65.75 / £55.00*

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    May 2020
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    Aims and Scope

    New perspectives on the iconic physicist's scientific and philosophical formation

    At the end of World War II, Albert Einstein was invited to write his intellectual autobiography for the Library of Living Philosophers. The resulting book was his uniquely personal Autobiographical Notes, a classic work in the history of science that explains the development of his ideas with unmatched warmth and clarity. Jürgen Renn and Hanoch Gutfreund introduce Einstein's scientific reflections to today's readers, tracing his intellectual formation from childhood to old age and offering a compelling portrait of the making of a philosopher-scientist.

    Einstein on Einstein features the full English text of Autobiographical Notes along with incisive essays that place Einstein's reflections in the context of the different stages of his scientific life. Renn and Gutfreund draw on Einstein's writings, personal correspondence, and critical writings by Einstein's contemporaries to provide new perspectives on his greatest discoveries. Also included are Einstein's responses to his critics, which shed additional light on his scientific and philosophical worldview. Renn and Gutfreund quote extensively from Einstein's initial, unpublished attempts to formulate his response, and also look at another brief autobiographical text by Einstein, written a few weeks before his death, which is published here for the first time in English.

    Complete with evocative drawings by artist Laurent Taudin, Einstein on Einstein illuminates the iconic physicist's journey to general relativity while situating his revolutionary ideas alongside other astonishing scientific breakthroughs of the twentieth century.


    33 b/w illus.
    E=MC2; Paul Arthur Schilpp; theory of relativity; Isaac Newton; Stephen Hawking; Nikola Tesla; Thomas Edison; Galileo Galilei; Marie Curie; Charles Darwin; Max Planck; Neils Bohr; special relativity; The World as I See It; Ideas and Opinions; Walter Isaacson; The Meaning of Relativity; space-time; Out of My Later Years; theory of gravity; Sir Arthur Eddington; quantum theory; Einstein’s brain; photoelectric effect; unified field theory; gravitational waves; black holes; gravitational lensing; speed of light; Brownian motion; Annus Mirabilis
    General/trade;Professional and scholarly;College/higher education;

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    Jürgen Renn is a director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. His books include The Evolution of Knowledge: Rethinking Science for the Anthropocene (Princeton). Hanoch Gutfreund is professor emeritus of theoretical physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is also academic director of the Albert Einstein Archives. His books include, with Jürgen Renn, The Formative Years of Relativity: The History and Meaning of Einstein's Princeton Lectures (Princeton).


    "This is a beautiful and engaging book. Renn and Gutfreund put Einstein's reflections in context, shedding light on the period when they were written as well as the intellectual journey Einstein himself writes about. Einstein on Einstein draws the reader in—this book is hard to put down."—Dennis Lehmkuhl, Lichtenberg Professor for History and Philosophy of Physics, University of Bonn

    "A marvelous resource for historians, philosophers, and scientists. I really enjoyed Einstein on Einstein."—Daniel Kennefick, author of No Shadow of a Doubt: The 1919 Eclipse That Confirmed Einstein's Theory of Relativity

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