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10 Best Quotes From "Einstein: His Life and Universe" by Walter Isaacson



Einstein is the great icon of our age: the kindly refugee from oppression whose wild halo of hair, twinkling eyes, engaging humanity and extraordinary brilliance made his face a symbol and his name a synonym for genius. He was a rebel and nonconformist from boyhood days. His character, creativity and imagination were related, and they drove both his life and his science. In this marvellously clear and accessible narrative, Walter Isaacson explains how his mind worked and the mysteries of the universe that he discovered.

Einstein's success came from questioning conventional wisdom and marvelling at mysteries that struck others as mundane. This led him to embrace a worldview based on respect for free spirits and free individuals. All of which helped make Einstein into a rebel but with a reverence for the harmony of nature, one with just the right blend of imagination and wisdom to transform our understanding of the universe. This new biography, the first since all of Einstein's papers have become available, is the fullest picture yet of one of the key figures of the twentieth century.


  1. “To dwell on the things that depress or anger us does not help in overcoming them. One must knock them down alone.”

  2. “He was a loner with an intimate bond to humanity, a rebel who was suffused with reverence. And thus it was that an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos, the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom and the universe.”

  3. “Politics is for the present, while our equations are for eternity.”

  4. “The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think,”

  5. “A society’s competitive advantage will come not from how well its schools teach the multiplication and periodic tables, but from how well they stimulate imagination and creativity.”

  6. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

  7. “Since the mathematicians have grabbed hold of the theory of relativity, I myself no longer understand it.”

  8. “Physics should represent a reality in time and space, free from spooky action at a distance.”

  9. “The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science.”

  10. “When a person can take pleasure in marching in step to a piece of music it is enough to make me despise him. He has been given his big brain only by mistake.”