An inspiring collection of the great thinker’s views on a rapidly changing world.
Nuclear proliferation, Zionism, and the global economy are just a few of the insightful and surprisingly prescient topics scientist Albert Einstein discusses in this volume of collected essays from between 1931 and 1950. Written with a clear voice and a thoughtful perspective on the effects of science, economics, and politics in daily life, Einstein’s writings provide an intriguing view inside the mind of a genius addressing the philosophical challenges presented during the turbulence of the Great Depression, the Second World War, and the dawn of the Cold War. This authorized Philosophical Library edition features information from never-before-seen documents housed at the Albert Einstein Archives of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Very well read book, I completely enjoyed listening to it. The content can be tough to follow, but is interesting.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The narration is excellent (but a bit slow so 1.25x worked for me) and Einstein’s humanism and commitment to peace shine through. Nevertheless I found the content is only interesting from a historical context. This collection includes letters, speeches and essays on Zionism, socialism, unionism, world government, pacifism, and quite a few eulogies. The most interesting aspects was seeing subtle changes in Einstein’s outlook over time but this would likely have been more interesting in a biographical form.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about Essays in Humanism?
I anticipated far more of the inner human in Einstein than what sounded like a scripted (maybe ghost-written) oft-repeated marketing piece for 1-world government. Such a concept might end up what the world needs. However I did not detect a depth of thought in the structure that convinces me that Einstein knew political science and the predispositions of mankind well enough to be an authority. I'd surely trust him in a dissertation on mathematics or physics.
If the group of essays were, in fact Einstein's own words they were over-simplistic and bereft of safe-guards for human liberty. The narrator has a long list of achievements, affiliations and attributes, not all of which filter down to a person who I'd want crafting an omnipotent, armed entity, which called the shots for the entire planet. In fairness, most of the essays were written without a crystal ball that made visible today's economic, political and human circumstances. Despite my enjoying the English language and a good vocabulary, I found the text to often stumble over itself, seemingly in an effort to sound erudite, more-so than to deliver the content.
His commentary on fellow scientists and scholars was, in contrast, interesting.
I might recommend this to a sociology student or a grad student in political science as a work that might reveal thought processes and philosophical persuasion techniques I have not studied. On the whole, the book was almost a waste of time and was surely a disappointment.
What do you think your next listen will be?
The sound of a discussion to get credit from Audible for a book I regret experiencing (about 75%)
How could the performance have been better?
Difficult to say. I found it lacked any references to modern circumstances and how the world has evolved after the essays were written. I think the reader had excellent tonality and diction.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
It demonstrated how even complex minds can use simplistic reasoning as a basis of establishing levels of control over others. This need not be considered as sinister but more of a validation of the saying; "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
Any additional comments?
Variety is the spice of life and some spices don't suit some palates. Chalk one up for not so good.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Timeless writings that are still applicable, I enjoyed particularly the ones related to science and peace.