Albert Einstein re-wrote the textbooks of science in 1905: physics since has been little more than a series of footnotes to the theories of a 26-year-old patent-office clerk. Einstein's science and emotional life come together in this vivid portrait of a rebellious and contradictory figure, a pacifist whose legendary equation E=mc2 opened scientists eyes to the terrible power within every atom. ‘To punish me for my contempt for authority,’ he lamented, ‘Fate has made me an authority myself.’
P.D. Smith is an independent researcher and writer (www.peterdsmith.com). His most recent book is "City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age", published by Bloomsbury in 2012. It was described by The Economist as "an excellent introduction to a vast subject". His previous book was "Doomsday Men: The Real Dr Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon" (2007, Allen Lane), described by the Daily Telegraph as "chilling" and "irresistible". He regularly reviews books for the Guardian, and has also written for Wired, the Independent, the Financial Times and the Times Literary Supplement. His previous books include a biography of Einstein and "Metaphor & Materiality: German Literature & the World-View of Science, 1780-1955". He is an Honorary Research Associate in the Science and Technology Studies Department at University College London, where he used to teach. He lives in Hampshire and is currently writing his fifth book.