Books

Top 5 books about Einstein, selected by Samuel Graydon

The science editor of The Times Literary Supplement picks the five best books about Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein in black and white

Image: Jackie Ramirez from Pixabay

Einstein in Love by Dennis Overbye

A marvellous book that focuses on the first half of Einstein’s life, specifically his relationship with first wife Mileva Marić. Overbye’s descriptions of people and landscapes make it the biography of Einstein that reads most like a novel.

Einstein 1905: The Standard of Greatness by John S Rigden

Einstein’s “miracle year” was 1905. In six months he produced five papers, three of which would change the course of modern physics. Rigden walks the reader through all five papers, mixing the context of Einstein’s life with explanations of the science.

Einstein’s War by Matthew Stanley

With Einstein at its centre, this is a fascinating biography of Europe’s scientific community during the First World War, filled with anecdotes about physicists and chemists – such as Fritz Haber, who was responsible for developing chlorine and mustard gas. 

Albert Einstein by Albrecht Fölsing

The most unsparingly thorough biography of Einstein, and extraordinarily accurate. Fölsing handles the inexhaustible details of a life with exceptional talent. 

Ideas and Opinions by Albert Einstein

A selection of essays, letters and speeches. In seeking to understand what mattered to Einstein, start with his own writings. He is a thoughtful, entertaining, often funny writer, with a wonderful gift for metaphor and fable.

Einstein in Time and Space book cover

Einstein in Time and Space: A Life in 99 Particles by Samuel Graydon is out on 28 September (John Murray Press, £20). You can buy some of these titles from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

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