Monday Amazon announced they’d obtained the exclusive e-book rights to seven books by Albert Einstein. “Albert Einstein is one of our most important thinkers,” Amazon’s Vice President of Kindle Content announced, adding “These books cover everything from the Theory of Relativity to Einstein’s own letters chronicling his thoughts on life.
“We’re excited to make these books available for Kindle device owners and app users, and think readers will enjoy them.”
They’re the officially authorized e-book editions of “a selection of Albert Einstein’s most important writings,” according to the CEO of Open Road Integrated Media LLC (the book’s publisher) — though the rights aren’t entirely exclusive. Amazon’s press release refers to seven e-books, “a portion of which have been available digitally in the public domain.” But while print editions may have already been released, “Open Road has added new photographs and biographical information from experts at the Hebrew University Einstein Archives, introductions written by Neil Berger and new covers to previously published print editions…to create new Albert Einstein Archives Authorized Editions of the works.”
Probably the most touching book is “Letters to Solovine,” which opens with an introduction by Maurice Solovine himself (who became a lifelong friend of the physicist). In 1902, when Einstein was just 23, he’d placed an ad offering to teach physics for three francs an hour, and 27-year-old Solovine responded to the ad (thinking “Perhaps this man could explain theoretical physics to me.”) The two men remained friends for the next 50 years, and Solovine’s introduction is exciting, because it really gives the feeling of what it was like to actually meet Albert Einstein for the very first time. “The hallway was dark and I was struck by the extraordinary radiance of his large eyes… For two hours we talked on about all sorts of questions and felt that we shared the same ideas…we continued the discussion in the street for about half an hour and agreed to meet the following day.”
Albert Einstein was born 132 years ago on this day — March 14 — so it’s nice to see that he’s still remembered, not just for his work but for the good man that he tried to be. Search the Kindle store today for Albert Einstein, and Amazon precedes your search results with their special announcement. (“Exclusive Enhanced Editions of Einstein’s Books on Kindle! Browse seven of Albert Einstein’s books with new photographs, biographical information, and never-before-seen documents, only on Kindle.” ) Here’s their official list of the new Einstein e-books, along with a description of what’s inside.
Essays in Science – Einstein’s tribute to other men and women of science, along with Einstein’s thoughts on his own place in scientific history.
Essays in Humanism – An inspiring collection of Einstein’s view on how quickly the world was changing.
Letters to Solovine 1906-1955 – Einstein’s long-time friend and translator compiled this “provocative” collection of letters revealing “the inner thoughts and daily life of a transformative genius”.
Letters on Wave Mechanics – Amazon describes these as “lively” and “groundbreaking” letters that Einstein sent to other physicists, including Max Planck, and Erwin Schrödinger.
Out of My Later Years – Einstein looks at the world again through the wise eyes of age.
The Theory of Relativity and Other Essays – Einstein’s most famous equation was E=mc2 — and here he actually explains it in his own words.
The World As I See It – Einstein addresses the modern world, including topics like nationalism, life, and religion.
To celebrate Einstein’s birthday, I tracked down a list of some of his most famous quotes. Einstein was an intelligent and thoughtful man, and during his life he said many wonderful things. But if I had to choose one favorite Albert Einstein quote, it would probably be this one. “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.
“It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”