Einstein on the beach in Santa Barbara, 1933 (?) (Santa Barbara Historical Society, and Caltech Archives)
It seems that Isaacsons book is strong about Einstein's time in the US, but I am not sure if I want to take the time to read through another 700+ pages Einstein biography. I found Jürgen Neffes recent book a very good reading, with a well-balanced mix of the man and the science, and taking into account now available sources about Einstein's personal life. An English translation is about to appear as "Einstein: A Biography". And for a comprehensive and authoritative exposition of Einstein's scientific work, I still know of no match to Abraham Pais' "Subtle is the Lord".
Einstein with astronomer Charles St. John at the Mt. Wilson Observatory in 1931, examining the apparatus for the (unsuccessful) measurement of the gravitational redshift in the solar spectrum. (The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, in: Centennial History of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, p. 142)
Anyway, the TIME magazine excerpt of Walter Isaacsons book is accompanied by a sort of "Einstein FAQ": 20 Things You Need to Know About Einstein, answering questions from "Was Einstein a slow learner as a child?" (he was slow in learning how to speak) and "Did Einstein flunk math?" ("I never failed in mathematics") over "Why did it take so long for Einstein to get a Nobel Prize?" (a longer story) to "Was Einstein disillusioned at the end?" (no, he wasn't).
It is definitely worth a click, if only for the wonderful collection of photos, most of which are not those that one usually sees!
TAGS: Albert Einstein, Biography