Einstein for Beginners

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Einstein for Beginners
EinsteinBeginners.jpg
First edition cover
AuthorJoseph Schwartz
IllustratorMichael McGuinness
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
SeriesFor Beginners
Introducing...
SubjectsAlbert Einstein
Relativity
PublisherWriters & Readers
Pantheon Books
Icon Books
Publication date
1979
Media typePrint (Paperback)

Einstein for Beginners, republished as Introducing Einstein, is a 1979 graphic study guide to Albert Einstein and the theory of relativity written by Joseph Schwartz and illustrated by Michael McGuinness.

"This is," confirms Leonardo reviewer Nan Conklin, "not simply a book explaining Einstein’s scientific work, but a mixture of history, politics and science."[1] In which, according to Science for the People reviewer Paul Thagard, "Einstein's work is related to the rise of electrical industries and the later development of the atomic bomb."[2]

Publication history[edit]

This volume was originally published in the United Kingdom by Writers and Readers Publishing Cooperative in 1979, following the collapse of this organisation in 1984, in part due to a disagreement over the selling off of the United States rights to this title,[citation needed] the book has subsequently been republished in the US by Pantheon Books and in the UK by Icon Books.

Selected editions:

  • Einstein for Beginners. Writers & Readers. 1979. ISBN 0906386055.
  • Einstein for Beginners. Pantheon Books. 1990. ISBN 0375714596.
  • Einstein for Beginners. Icon Books. 1992. ISBN 1874166021.
  • Introducing Einstein. Icon Books. 1999. ISBN 1840460601.
  • Einstein for Beginners. Pantheon Books. 1990. ISBN 1874166021.
  • Introducing Einstein. Icon Books. 2005. ISBN 1840466677.
  • Introducing Einstein: A Graphic Guide. Icon Books. 2012. ISBN 1848314086.

Related volumes in the For Beginners series:

  • Manly, Steven L.; Fournier, Steven (2009). Relativity and Quantum Physics. Readers & Writers.

Related volumes in the Introducing... series:

  • Rankin, William (1993). Newton for Beginners. Icon Books. ISBN 1863734953.
  • Felix, Pirani; Christina, Roche (1993). The Universe for Beginners. Icon Books. ISBN 1874166064.
  • McEvoy, J.P.; Zárate, Oscar (1995). Stephen Hawking for Beginners. Icon Books.
  • McEvoy, J.P.; Zárate, Oscar (1996). Quantum Theory for Beginners. Icon Books.
  • Callender, Craig; Edney, Ralph (2001). Introducing Time. Icon Books.
  • Bassett, Bruce; Edney, Ralph (2002). Introducing Relativity. Icon Books. ISBN 1840463724.
  • Clegg, Brian; Pugh, Oliver (2012). Introducing Infinity. Icon Books.
  • Whyntie, Tom; Pugh, Oliver (2013). Introducing Particle Physics. Icon Books.

Reception[edit]

Paul Thagard, writing in Science for the People, describes the book as, "intelligible and entertaining,"[2] while Henry McDonald, writing in the Washington Post, describes it as "well illustrated and thoroughly researched".[3]

"Almost half the book," according to Nan Conklin, writing in Leonardo, "is devoted to recounting Einstein’s early life and the influences on him."[1] "Its discussion of the political environment in which Einstein's discoveries were made is." according to McDonald, "informative."[3]

"The drawing and the words have a distinctly comic-book flavor," according to Conklin, but it is, "only when the authors set out to explain Einstein’s theories that the use of the peculiar mode of presentation seems justified."[1] McDonald describes, "the presentation of the discoveries themselves is little short of inspired,"[3] while Thagard too commends the authors as, "highly inventive in using amusing illustrations and humorous asides to lead the beginners through difficult concepts."[2]

While Conklin speculates that the publishers may have included a volume on Einstein in this series due to his belief in, "the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals,"[1] and McDonald confirms that the authors, "go out of their way to emphasize [...] Einstein's socialism," Thagard is critical of the failure to, "develop the social connections in a substantial way," and concludes that the volume does not provide a, "basis for discussion of the role of science in society."[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Conklin, Nan (January 1983). "Einstein for Beginners by Joseph Schwartz and Michael McGuinness (review)". Leonardo. 16 (1): 63.
  2. ^ a b c d Thagard, Paul (May–June 1981). "Ideas for Beginners" (PDF). Science for the People. 13 (3): 30–32. Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  3. ^ a b c McDonald, Henry (1979-10-07). "Modern Thought Made Easy". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-01-15.