The cover of Einstein


His Life and Universe

by Walter Isaacson

In 1905 Einstein had never held an academic position. He published four papers that year: one on the Photoelectric effect (for which he won the Nobel Prize), one on Brownian motion which opened the door for the observation of the atom, one on special relativity which upendended our understanding of space and time, and one on the mass-energy equivalence which demonstrated the famous equation E = mc2.

It’s easy to get caught up in the mythos of Einstein, to think of him as the kind of genius that comes along once in a millenium. But the details of Isaacson’s biography paint a picture of the everyday life: family, work, the relatable struggle for recognition and self-fulfilment.