Hear the Voice of Albert Einstein: Vintage Album Features Him Talking About E=MC2, World Peace & More

einstein speaks

We all have a men­tal image of Albert Ein­stein. For some of us, that men­tal image does­n’t get much more detailed than the mus­tache, the unruly hair, and the rum­pled dress, all of which, thanks to his achieve­ments in the­o­ret­i­cal physics, have become visu­al sig­ni­fiers of for­bid­ding intel­li­gence. But when we imag­ine this image of Ein­stein actu­al­ly speak­ing, what does he sound like? Beyond guess­ing at a rea­son­ably suit­able Ger­man­ic accent, many of us will real­ize that we’ve nev­er actu­al­ly heard the man who came up with the The­o­ry of Rel­a­tiv­i­ty speak.

By the time Ein­stein died in 1955, record­ing tech­nol­o­gy had pro­lif­er­at­ed, and so the bits and pieces of his speech­es com­mit­ted to tape add up to over an hour of mate­r­i­al in total. Spo­ti­fy has gath­ered it all togeth­er in the album Albert Ein­stein in His Own Voice. (If you don’t have Spo­ti­fy’s free soft­ware, you can down­load it here.) It includes some of the Ein­stein audio we’ve fea­tured here before, such as his 1940 radio broad­cast on why he chose to become an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen and his read­ing, from the next year, of his essay “The Com­mon Lan­guage of Sci­ence.”

Ein­stein left behind plen­ty of writ­ing in addi­tion to that piece, but often, to real­ly under­stand how a mind works, you need to hear its own­er talk. (And few minds, or in any case brains, have drawn as much atten­tion as Ein­stein’s.) “I speak to every­one in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the pres­i­dent of the uni­ver­si­ty,” he once said, pre­sum­ably includ­ing the sorts of audi­ences he spoke to in these record­ings. Hav­ing heard Albert Ein­stein in His Own Voice, you’ll under­stand much more ful­ly the intel­lec­tu­al inter­est to which Ein­stein, when not stick­ing it out in order to become the world’s dorm-room icon of wacky genius, could put the use of his tongue.

Albert Ein­stein in His Own Voice will be added to our col­lec­tion, 1,000 Free Audio Books: Down­load Great Books for Free.

Relat­ed con­tent:

Albert Ein­stein Reads ‘The Com­mon Lan­guage of Sci­ence’ (1941)

Rare Audio: Albert Ein­stein Explains “Why I Am an Amer­i­can” on Day He Pass­es Cit­i­zen­ship Test (1940)

Albert Ein­stein Tells His Son The Key to Learn­ing & Hap­pi­ness is Los­ing Your­self in Cre­ativ­i­ty (or “Find­ing Flow”)

Albert Ein­stein on Indi­vid­ual Lib­er­ty, With­out Which There Would Be ‘No Shake­speare, No Goethe, No New­ton’

Lis­ten as Albert Ein­stein Calls for Peace and Social Jus­tice in 1945

Albert Ein­stein Express­es His Admi­ra­tion for Mahat­ma Gand­hi, in Let­ter and Audio

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

by | Permalink | Comments (2) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (2)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.