"Honestly, I didn't like any of them," Neffe said by phone from his home in Berlin.
"I'm a biochemist and I've studied physics, and if I cannot really understand what is going on, then it's a bad sign.
It is witty and playful — and it makes Einstein's life and discoveries seem exciting. 1 spot on several best-seller lists — evidence that his book is better known.
Hopefully, Neffe's book — a book by a scientist about a scientist, written with style and warmth — will emerge as the favorite.
He thanks Douglas Stone, a Yale professor of physics, for instance, for "helping to write the chapter on the 1905 light quanta paper, quantum theory, Bose-Einstein statistics and kinetic theory." Murray Gell-Mann, another physicist, helped Isaacson "revise early drafts, edited and corrected the chapters on relativity and quantum mechanics, and helped draft sections that explained Einstein's objections to quantum uncertainty." Several other scientists and lay persons read the manuscript and offered "edits, rephrasing of passages, and helped with numerous revisions." Isaacson hesitated to characterize Neffe's book, which he finally called "a series of essays — so it isn't really a book. I read it when it came out in Germany." Isaacson said he initially considered Einstein "a genial old man, an absent-minded professor.
But I discovered he was a passionate, flesh-and-blood person with a great rebellious streak.
Walter Isaacson, formerly an American CNN and Time executive, wrote "Einstein: His Life and Universe," and Jurgen Neffe, a German scientist and journalist, wrote "Einstein: A Biography." In fact, Neffe's work was published in 2005 in Germany, thus embracing the centennial year of Einstein's major discovery, the theory of relativity.
His book was on the German best-seller list for a year.
Who was Albert Einstein is a biography chapter book about the life of Albert Einstein.
The "Who Was" series is written to be an easy read for students while still providing valuable information about famous people in history.