Peter D. Smith

‘Concise, complete, well produced and lively throughout’
New Scientist

‘Einstein was a man who could ask immensely simple questions. What his life showed, and his work, is that when the answers are simple too, then you hear God thinking.’
Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man


Albert Einstein re-wrote the textbooks of science in 1905: physics since has been little more than a series of footnotes to the theories of a 26-year-old patent-office clerk. Einstein’s science and emotional life come together in this vivid portrait of a rebellious and contradictory figure, a pacifist whose legendary equation E=mc² opened scientists’ eyes to the terrible power within every atom. ‘To punish me for my contempt of authority,’ he lamented, ‘Fate has made me an authority myself.’

PETER D. SMITH writes regularly for the Guardian, The Independent, and Times Literary Supplement among others and teaches at University College London. He is the author of Metaphor and Materiality: German Literature and the World-View of Science 1780-1955.

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