Albert Einstein emphasizes the human and personal side of one of the greatest scientists of the twentieth century, providing a good introduction to his life. While several of Einstein's important theories, including the revolutionary theory of relativity, are explained clearly and simply, the book stresses his resistance to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis and his stubborn refusal to believe that atomic energy could be used for anything but peaceful purposes.
Although this book is immensely enjoyable, anyone researching Einstein should consult more recent publications as well. Subsequent works have uncovered new information and revealed some inevitable flaws in Levinger's study.
Born in Chicago in 1887, Elma Ehrlich Levinger worked her way through the University of Chicago, quite an accomplishment for a woman of her time. Later she was awarded a fellowship to study drama at Radcliffe College, and she wrote a number of plays, several of which won prizes in national contests. One of the best known is the biblical drama in one act, Jephthah's Daughter (1921). She also wrote short stories and two adult novels before turning to biography for young people. She was married to Lee Joseph Levinger. She died in 1958.
Einstein, Albert. The World as I See It. 1949. Reprint. Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart, 1979. Out of My Later Years. 1950. Reprint. Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart, 1973. These two famous collections of essays, letters, and speeches cover a wide range of public and personal issues.
French, A. P., ed. Einstein:A Centenary Volume. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1979. Intended for teachers and advanced students of physics, this collection examines Einstein the man, his scientific work and its subsequent influence, and his role as a humanitarian and world statesman.
Goldsmith, Maurice, Alan Mackay, and James Woudhuysen, eds. Einstein: The First Hundred Years. New York: Pergamon Press, 1980. Fairly difficult to read, this work addresses Einstein's impact on science, society, world affairs, and the arts.
Hawking, Stephen W. From the BigBang to Black Holes: A Brief History of Time. New York: Bantam, 1987. A physicist at Cambridge University, Hawking is regarded by some as the successor to Newton and Einstein. This is his version of the origins and destiny of the universe.
Hoffman, Banesh, and Helen Dukas, eds. Albert Einstein: The Human Side. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979. This non-technical collection, based on materials in the Institute for Advanced Studies archives, provides information on Einstein's personal life.