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Mehr über den Autor

Mit Sir Isaac Newton und Nobelpreisträger Paul Dirac auf Augenhöhe zu sein, ist nur
den wenigsten Wissenschaftlern vergönnt. Stephen W. Hawking zählt zu diesen
Wenigen. Von 1979 bis 2009 hatte er - wie seine berühmten Vorgänger - den 1663
von Henry Lucas gestifteten Lehrstuhl für Mathematik an der Universität Cambridge
inne. Aber Hawking ist nicht nur ein herausragender Wissenschaftler, er versteht es
auch wie kaum ein anderer, hochkomplexe wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse mit
einfachen Worten einem nicht-wissenschaftlichen Publikum nahezubringen. 1988
etwa gelang ihm das Kunststück, eine breite Öffentlichkeit für Kosmologie zu
begeistern: "Eine kurze Geschichte der Zeit" verkaufte sich weltweit millionenfach
und stand monatelang auf den internationalen Bestsellerlisten.
Stephen William Hawking wurde 1942 in Oxford geboren. Er studierte Physik in
Oxford und wechselte anschließend nach Cambridge, um sich der Kosmologie zu
widmen. Ein Jahr später, kurz vor seinem 21. Geburtstag, erhielt er die Diagnose, die
sein Leben verändern sollte: Amyotrophe Lateralsklerose (kurz: ALS), eine
unheilbare Erkrankung des Zentralnervensystems. Dennoch setzte Hawking seine
Studien fort, gründete eine Familie, wurde dreifacher Vater und machte eine
einzigartige wissenschaftliche Weltkarriere. Dass er die Hoffnung niemals aufgibt,
zählt, neben seinen herausragenden wissenschaftlichen Fähigkeiten, sicher zu
seinen größten Lebensleistungen.



"Stephen Hawking [has] a brain of enviable vastness, seeing and understanding things that lie way beyond most of us... His modesty is engaging" (Daily Mail)

"Hawking writes movingly... we hear his voice radiating directly from the black hole of his motor neuron disease, without the amplification and elaboration supplied by the co-authors with whom he wrote his last few books" (Financial Times)

"A concise, gleaming portrait" (Nature)

"Powerful... [his] brevity makes for a bold picture" (Guardian)

"Read it for the personal nuggets... But above all, it's worth reading for its message of hope" (Mail on Sunday) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .


The extraordinary personal autobiography of the world's most famous scientist, written solely and exclusively by Stephen Hawking. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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38 von 38 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A history brief, simple and sweet 10. September 2013
Von Ash Jogalekar - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Stephen Hawking is not only a great scientist but he is also an exemplar of grit, optimism and good humor. He is as famous for his triumph over a devastating disease and his determined survival as he is for his scientific brilliance. His book "A Brief History of Time" introduced millions of people to the wonders of the universe. This short memoir now introduces people to his own life which has not been any less wondrous. Those who have read the biographies by John Gribbin and Michael White or by Jane Hawking may not find much that is new in here, but the book definitely benefits from Hawking's simple and illuminating writing style and dry sense of humor. Suffering from an illness like ALS can definitely lead someone to express themselves with economy and clarity.

As the title indicates, the book is very short (144 pages) and is divided into even shorter chapters. Each chapter is more like a snippet that focuses on one particular topic. The earlier chapters deal with Hawking's upbringing in London as the son of caring and slightly eccentric parents, his education at Oxford and Cambridge and his initial struggles with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Hawking gives us a good idea of the pioneering research on black holes and the Big Bang which he did with Roger Penrose and others. There are also anecdotes about other scientists like Richard Feynman and encounters with celebrities like Popes and Presidents. Hawking talks unflinchingly about his disease without a hint of self-pity, and this is a quality that continues to make him so widely admired, sometimes to the point of reverence.

The later chapters deal with his current research on quantum gravity, his various trips to different parts of the world (including a few weeks spent every year at Caltech) and his two divorces. One revealing part of the book is Hawking's description of the several occasions on which he was on the brink of death; it was only the dedication of his wives, Jane and Elaine, that saved his life. Old and new photographs (some showcasing Hawking's bawdy sense of humor) enliven the narrative. The book ends on a characteristically optimistic note. Hawking says that his devastating illness has not held him back from fully living life and he is grateful for his gifts and for the support others have given him. There's some useful advice there for all of us.
50 von 52 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
My Brief History by Stephen Hawking is a fascinating jubilee of life, love & triumph over adversity 5. Oktober 2013
Von Shannon - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Told with the greatest humility, My Brief History by Stephen Hawking is a fascinating jubilee of life, love and triumph over adversity that gives its readers unprecedented access to the heart and mind of one of the most famous and loved living scientists.

The following is an excerpt of my book review published in association with and Scientific American. The full review can be read online at [...]

The autobiography revealed a great deal about Hawking, the man. Most notably, it took Hawking out of a wheelchair and showed us a vibrant, active, and youthful man. The featured image on the cover of the book, titled "The Boat Club at play," is of Hawking leaping into the air holding a white kerchief. Similarly, we see Hawking, once again defying gravity much later in life, in the last photo of the book where he is floating in "Zero-G" aboard NASA's "Vomit Comet."

Hawking's autobiography genuinely burst to life with 47 archival images, including candid family portraits with his parents and his two sisters, Philippa and Mary, affirming a happy childhood. (A photo of his adopted brother, Edward, is absent). Some of the photos exposed colorful, non-centrist, and controversial aspects of the lives and political beliefs of his parents, Frank and Isobel.The photos of Stephen's first wife, Jane, whom he married in 1965, and their children -- from eldest to youngest: Robert, Lucy, and Tim -- unveiled tender, celebratory moments depicting nearly 25 years of a happy marriage and a joyful home life. The photos, however, masked brewing marital tensions that followed a life-threatening event related to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as "ALS" or "Lou Gehrig's disease." Hawking said his declining health led to his wife's affair. He laid bare the circumstances in more detail than expected on pages 84-88, explaining their eventual physical separation in 1990.

The narrative story revealed much about Hawking's early life and education. First, we learned that disability was not new to his family. His mother, who was Scottish and the daughter of a physician, had an older sister afflicted with Down's syndrome, a heritable disease. The experience probably imbued her with an understanding of the patience and dignity required in the process of care giving with the differently abled. While there are some instances in studies showing the heritability of ALS, the actual cause of the motor neural disease remains unknown. His father, who was academically and professionally trained in medicine, was aptly suited to raise a child who developed a medical condition. In short, Hawking could not have been born to a family that would be more capable to provide him with the love, empathy, dignity, and emotional support to pursue his dreams and become the scientist he is today.

As a fellow Cantabrigian, I found the chapters on Cambridge life to be quite relatable and I feel most alumni would enjoy reading the book for the same reason.

In addition to allowing the reader to learn about Hawking as a family man, the book conveyed some surprising stories about his professional studies and career as a cosmologist. Hawking also used his autobiography to correct some misconceptions. He revealed examples of how he felt certain incidences in his life, and his overall public image, had been distorted by the media.

The book no doubt serves as the basis of the recent movie, Hawking, released in the UK by Vertigo Films, September 2013.
14 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
At least now I can say I actually finished a book by Stephen Hawking 17. April 2014
Von Mary Lavers (in Canada) - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I thought I knew a little bit about Stephen Hawking but after reading his brief autobiography (it really is brief, he's not just saying that as a play on his most famous book, A Brief History of Time) I realized I hadn't known anything about him. First of all, I thought he had cerebral palsy and had been wheelchair bound since childhood. Not so. He has ALS, a degenerative disorder that didn't present symptoms until he was in his early twenties. He was on the rowing team in university! (Though he was the person who does the shouting and no actual rowing. What's that called? I literally just read it. Oh I forget.)

I also learned that Stephen Hawking is twice divorced (the first divorce was particularly complicated and sad) and that he has written a series of science books for children with the help of his daughter, Lucy. I also learned that A Brief History of Time was meant to be a populist book to explain astrophysics to the everyday person. After four failed attempts at reading it, I question whether or not I qualify as an everyday person. But at least now I can say I finished a book by Stephen Hawking!
26 von 31 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Very Brief History 25. September 2013
Von Rikki White - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition
I was one of the millions who bought a copy of A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME and read it from cover to cover. It enthused me so much that I enrolled with The Open University and did three years study of AstroPhysics, so I am a hero worshipper of Stephen Hawking and anxious to learn as much as I can about this incredible man. Therefore, I am disappointed that I can only give two stars to this book. I have read several of his books and I was wanting to find out more about the man not his music. There is little new to enlighten the reader of his fortitude with the slings and arrows that life had shot at him. It was more a record of people and places he encountered. Wonderful that he could be so positive about the advantages his disability gave him but I feel I know no more about him than I did at the start of the book. The chapters on his work I found incomprehensible, but that's probably my fault not his. This is a book for admirers of the genius who have little knowledge of his history and want to know something about him. It could appeal to a wider audience than his more scientific offerings as only a small section needs a knowledge of theoretical physics to understand it. The title is apt, it is indeed a very brief history.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Ordinary autobiography; extraordinary author !!!!!!!! 1. Oktober 2013
Von JL - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Even though, the reader is advised that this autobiography is brief, I agree with some of the reviewers. The first 4 chapters (out of 13) are very general and the author does not deep enough to show himself out as the human being. The other chapters go deeper in more technical information which is not easy for someone outside of Physical Sciences. There are several paragraphs in which the author is inferring the importance he is giving to be intellectual when there are many other important characteristics as a human being (examples: page 7: He was very different from the other three children, being completely non-academic and non-intellectual,...; page 9: Howard was a revelation to me because his parents weren't intellectuals like the parents of all the other children I knew.; page 17: But it also reflected a different kind of population; certainly, none of the parents of my school friends in St. Albans could be described as intellectuals.; etc.). The author does not mention anything regarding his experience of thirty years as Professor of Mathematics, why he became atheist, the details of his two marriages, how he was developing his theoretical thinking, etc. He recognizes that he is happy with his life and doing research in theoretical physics. One of the important things we can find here is that theory was ahead of experiment on various occasions which is not the common in general terms. There must be so much information out there that this brief autobiography could have been a gem.
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