What Books and Movies Are Good for Teaching About Einstein's Life?


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Some books to use when teaching about Albert Einstein's life include "Einstein: His Life and Universe" by Walter Isaacson and "Einstein: The Life and Times" by Ronald Clark. Movies about Einstein's life have tended to be generally inaccurate or highly fictionalized, such as is the case of "Young Einstein," set in Australia, and "I.Q.," which has Einstein acting as a romantic matchmaker for his niece. "Einstein and Eddington" however, which was a drama series produced by the BBC in 2008, portrays a more accurate account of Einstein's life, and in particular his defense among academic circles of his groundbreaking theory of special relativity.

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"Einstein and Eddington" also showed aspects of the historical context of Einstein's work during the First World War.

Isaacson's "Einstein: His Life and Universe" focuses primarily on Einstein as a person. Although it does discuss his scientific theories, the emphasis is on the anecdotes and personality of Einstein the man. One such anecdote relates an occasion when one of Einstein's early classmates prophesied that Einstein would one day be a "great man."

"Einstein: The Life and Times" by Ronald Clark also focuses on the life, rather than the theories, of Einstein. It traces the events of his life from a Swiss Alpine childhood through his wartime pacifism, Zionism, failed first marriage and his personal reconciliation between science and religion.

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