Walter Isaacson’s Einstein meets Craig Brown’s 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret, in this innovative biography of the famous physicist told in ninety-nine dazzling vignettes.
Most of us would agree that Albert Einstein’s name is synonymous with “genius” and that his likeness is often used as a shorthand for all scientists, appearing everywhere from cartoons to textbooks. He has become more myth than man. That being the case, how best to capture his essence?
In Einstein in Time and Space, talented young science journalist Samuel Graydon answers that question with an illuminating mosaic—99 intriguingly different particles that cumulatively reveal Einstein’s contradictory and multitudinous nature. Glimpsed among these shards: a slacker who failed every subject but math, a job seeker who couldn’t get hired, a lothario who courted many women, and a charmer who was the life of the party. As brilliant as he was inconsistent, Einstein was simultaneously an avid supporter of the NAACP and the fight for civil rights and someone capable of great prejudice. He was loved by many, known by few, and inspirational to a generation of young physicists. Graydon reveals every corner of Einstein’s world: the false reporting that rocketed Einstein to fame nearly overnight, his effect on people he met merely in passing, even the remarkable posthumous journey of the famed physicist’s brain.
Entertaining, comforting, bolstering, and shocking, Einstein in Time and Space is the unique story of a man who redefined how we view our universe and our place within it.
Samuel Graydon is the science editor at TheTimes Literary Supplement. He has published short fiction and has been longlisted for an Alpine Fellowship. He studied English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford. He and his family live in Bath, UK.