PositiveThe Washington PostOrens’s approach to the lives and work of the attendees, through the story of this conference, is unusual and well conceived. His account revisits what is certainly one of the most exciting, turbulent periods in the history of science and better acquaints us with people who played significant roles in this drama ... In his treatment of Einstein, Orens discusses a claim that science historians have almost unanimously dismissed—that it was Einstein’s first wife, Mileva, who developed the theory of special relativity. In a book much concerned with lack of recognition for women, Orens’s careful assessment of her minor contribution is appropriate.
RaveThe Washington PostFew books about events a century ago carry as relevant a message for today’s world of resurgent nationalism as does Matthew Stanley’s ... Stanley is a storyteller par excellence ... Stanley doesn’t confine the political story to Britain, Germany and, later, America but describes the disastrous flow of events in other countries as well ... In Stanley’s riveting, blow-by-blow account of Einstein’s struggle, he explains every scientific term and concept that is likely to be unfamiliar. The result is an unusually reader-friendly journey into relativity theory ... Stanley brings [Einstein and his colleague Eddington] vividly to life in his telling of their engagement with their science ... We know the ending of this \'messy adventure,\' as Stanley terms it. That doesn’t prevent his splendid book from being a harrowing journey through a time when no one did know—when the outcome that has become part of history seemed unlikely.
RaveThe Washington Post\"Brief Answers to the Big Questions came out seven months after [Hawking\'s] death and put to rest concerns that it would be just a mishmash of recycled material ... Most of the chapters, but particularly Chapter 6, \'Is Time Travel Possible?\' and Chapter 10, \'How Do We Shape the Future?,\' are vintage Hawking — with the straightforward, engaging style of A Brief History of Time and The Universe in a Nutshell ... Hawking’s colleagues, friends and family, laboring out of deep respect for him, doing their best to achieve what he intended, have produced a splendid book. Enjoy it, learn from it, and regret that it is Hawking’s last.\