Albert Einstein is the great icon of our age: the kindly refugee from oppression whose wild halo of hair, twinkling eyes, engaging humanity, and extraordinary brilliance made his face a symbol and his name a synonym for genius.In Isaacson's account, Einstein is a revolutionary and a rebel, a non-conformist from boyhood days. His character, creativity, and imagination are related, and they drive both his life and his work. In Isaacson's marvelously clear account, we watch Einstein over the many decades of his life and we understand something of how the mind of a genius worked. Isaacson writes with such precision and patience that we grasp what for many of us has always been a mystery--Einstein's great discoveries which revolutionized physics. The young Einstein rebelled against rote learning, causing him to be expelled by one headmaster for impudence and told by another that he was unlikely to amount to much. From his boyhood on, he understood that freedom of thought is the key to imagination and, as he famously declared, imagination is more important than knowledge. It was a conviction that carried over to his politics and personal life. His belief in freedom led him to oppose all forms of tyranny, from German militarism, to fascism to communism to McCarthyism. He was a difficult husband and father, but he was also intense and passionate both with family and with many lifelong friends.