100 books like Lise Meitner

By Ruth Lewin Sime,

Here are 100 books that Lise Meitner fans have personally recommended if you like Lise Meitner. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton

Andrew Zangwill Author Of A Mind Over Matter: Philip Anderson and the Physics of the Very Many

From my list on biographies of physicists.

Who am I?

I am a physics professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Ten years ago, I switched my research focus from solid-state physics to the history of that subject. This was fertile ground because professional historians of science had almost completely ignored solid-state physics. I began my new career by writing two journal articles about the physicist Walter Kohn and his discovery of what became the most accurate method known to calculate the properties of solids. This experience led me to broaden my perspective and ultimately produce a biography of the theoretical physicist Philip Anderson. My next book will be a historical-sociological study of self-identity and disciplinary boundaries within the community of physicists.  

Andrew's book list on biographies of physicists

Andrew Zangwill Why did Andrew love this book?

Don’t let the length (over 900 pages) of this biography put you off. Instead, immerse yourself in the slow and powerful current of author Richard Westfall’s superbly written and richly detailed portrait of the skills, achievements, and obsessions of the singular genius that was Isaac Newton. Westfall explains in a masterful way Newton’s mathematics, his physics, his heretical theology, his fixation with alchemy, his activities running the Royal Mint, and his disputes with other scientists. These features, and Westfall’s evocative description of the intellectual and social milieu of Newton’s 17th-century world, make Never at Rest a compelling read.   

By Richard S. Westfall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Never at Rest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This richly detailed 1981 biography captures both the personal life and the scientific career of Isaac Newton, presenting a fully rounded picture of Newton the man, the scientist, the philosopher, the theologian, and the public figure. Professor Westfall treats all aspects of Newton's career, but his account centres on a full description of Newton's achievements in science. Thus the core of the work describes the development of the calculus, the experimentation that altered the direction of the science of optics, and especially the investigations in celestial dynamics that led to the law of universal gravitation.


Book cover of Michael Faraday and The Royal Institution: The Genius of Man and Place

Andrew Zangwill Author Of A Mind Over Matter: Philip Anderson and the Physics of the Very Many

From my list on biographies of physicists.

Who am I?

I am a physics professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Ten years ago, I switched my research focus from solid-state physics to the history of that subject. This was fertile ground because professional historians of science had almost completely ignored solid-state physics. I began my new career by writing two journal articles about the physicist Walter Kohn and his discovery of what became the most accurate method known to calculate the properties of solids. This experience led me to broaden my perspective and ultimately produce a biography of the theoretical physicist Philip Anderson. My next book will be a historical-sociological study of self-identity and disciplinary boundaries within the community of physicists.  

Andrew's book list on biographies of physicists

Andrew Zangwill Why did Andrew love this book?

For my money, Michael Faraday was the greatest experimental scientist of the nineteenth century. His notebooks detailing his achievements in electrochemistry and electromagnetism should be read by every budding experimentalist as models to emulate. The late Sir John Thomas, a distinguished solid-state chemist, wrote this short biography (only 234 pages) of Faraday during his tenure as the Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain.  Thomas’ scientific expertise, his insider status, and his graceful writing style led him to produce a real gem. Enjoy yourself as Thomas recounts Faraday’s ascent at the Royal Institution from laboratory assistant to full professor, his scientific work, his private life, and his unmatched skill as a popularizer of science. 

By John M. Thomas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Michael Faraday and The Royal Institution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A self-educated man who knew no mathematics, Michael Faraday rose from errand boy to become one of Britain's greatest scientists. Faraday made the discoveries upon which most of twentieth-century technology is based and readers of this book will enjoy finding out in how many ways we are indebted to him. The story of his life speaks to us across the years and is a fascinating read, especially when the tale is told with the understanding and gusto that Professor Thomas-one of the UK's leading scientists-brings to the telling.

Faraday took great trouble to make the latest discoveries of science, his…


Book cover of Schrodinger: Life and Thought

Andrew Zangwill Author Of A Mind Over Matter: Philip Anderson and the Physics of the Very Many

From my list on biographies of physicists.

Who am I?

I am a physics professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Ten years ago, I switched my research focus from solid-state physics to the history of that subject. This was fertile ground because professional historians of science had almost completely ignored solid-state physics. I began my new career by writing two journal articles about the physicist Walter Kohn and his discovery of what became the most accurate method known to calculate the properties of solids. This experience led me to broaden my perspective and ultimately produce a biography of the theoretical physicist Philip Anderson. My next book will be a historical-sociological study of self-identity and disciplinary boundaries within the community of physicists.  

Andrew's book list on biographies of physicists

Andrew Zangwill Why did Andrew love this book?

This biography brings fully to life the multi-faceted Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger. Although best known as the co-inventor of quantum mechanics, he later wrote a book called What is Life which inspired many physicists to apply their talents to biology. Moore gives a full account of Schrödinger’s upbringing, his education, his science, and his extensive philosophical writings. You can judge for yourself if Moore is persuasive when he argues that the erotic intensity of several of Schrödinger’s extramarital affairs helped fuel and found expression in some of his specific scientific achievements. 

By Walter J. Moore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Schrodinger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Erwin Schroedinger was a brilliant and charming Austrian, a great scientist, and a man with a passionate interest in people and ideas. In this, the first comprehensive biography of Schroedinger, Walter Moore draws upon recollections of Schroedinger's friends, family and colleagues, and on contemporary records, letters and diaries. Schroedinger's life is portrayed against the backdrop of Europe at a time of change and unrest. His best-known scientific work was the discovery of wave mechanics, for which he was awarded the Nobel prize in 1933. However, Erwin was also an enthusiastic explorer of the ideas of Hindu mysticism, and in the…


Book cover of Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center

Andrew Zangwill Author Of A Mind Over Matter: Philip Anderson and the Physics of the Very Many

From my list on biographies of physicists.

Who am I?

I am a physics professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Ten years ago, I switched my research focus from solid-state physics to the history of that subject. This was fertile ground because professional historians of science had almost completely ignored solid-state physics. I began my new career by writing two journal articles about the physicist Walter Kohn and his discovery of what became the most accurate method known to calculate the properties of solids. This experience led me to broaden my perspective and ultimately produce a biography of the theoretical physicist Philip Anderson. My next book will be a historical-sociological study of self-identity and disciplinary boundaries within the community of physicists.  

Andrew's book list on biographies of physicists

Andrew Zangwill Why did Andrew love this book?

The brilliant and enigmatic Robert Oppenheimer was the man who led the effort to create the atomic bomb at Los Alamos during World War II.  I value this biography because author Ray Monk does full justice to his subject’s science—the science that put Oppenheimer’s  Berkeley research group at the center of American theoretical physics in the 1930s. Best of all, Monk’s elegant writing makes even familiar episodes come alive. I felt I was watching a car crash in slow motion as I read how Oppenheimer’s complex personality and political naivete led him to underestimate his political enemies and wind up stripped of his security clearance and his influence as a government advisor.  

By Ray Monk,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Robert Oppenheimer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An unforgettable story of discovery and unimaginable destruction and a major biography of one of America’s most brilliant—and most divisive—scientists, Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center vividly illuminates the man who would go down in history as “the father of the atomic bomb.” Oppenheimer’s talent and drive secured him a place in the pantheon of great physicists and carried him to the laboratories where the secrets of the universe revealed themselves. But they also led him to contribute to the development of the deadliest weapon on earth, a discovery he soon came to fear. His attempts to resist the…


Book cover of E = mc2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation

Michael DiRuggiero Author Of Einstein: The Man and His Mind

From my list on Albert Einstein for the non-scientist.

Who am I?

I am the co-founder and current owner of The Manhattan Rare Book Company. I’ve been in the rare book business for 25 years, specializing in the history of science with particular emphasis on material relating to Albert Einstein. Like many people, I’ve long been drawn to Einstein, attracted by his wisdom, curiosity, personality, approachability, and general decency. 

Michael's book list on Albert Einstein for the non-scientist

Michael DiRuggiero Why did Michael love this book?

Using Einstein's most famous equation as his organizational theme, Bodanis offers a fresh and exciting approach to Einstein's life and work. Energy, mass, and the speed of light become characters of their own as Bodanis traces our evolving understanding of the nature of the universe. The book is all about context—delightfully so—giving Bodanis an excuse to introduce a kaleidoscope of colorful personalities who either influenced Einstein, or were influenced by him, all connected by their relationship to this most powerful of all equations.     

By David Bodanis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked E = mc2 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Already climbing the bestseller lists-and garnering rave reviews this "little masterpiece" sheds brilliant light on the equation that changed the world.

Bodanis begins by devoting chapters to each of the equation's letters and symbols, introducing the science and scientists forming the backdrop to Einstein's discovery from Ole Roemer's revelation that the speed of light could be measured to Michael Faraday's pioneering work on energy fields. Having demystified the equation, Bodanis explains its science and brings it to life historically, making clear the astonishing array of discoveries and consequences it made possible. It would prove to be a beacon throughout the…


Book cover of RSHA Reich Security Main Office: Organisation, Activities, Personnel

Robert Temple Author Of Drunk on Power Vol 1: A Senior Defector's Inside Account of the Nazi Secret Police State

From my list on the inner workings of Nazi Germany.

Who am I?

When I find a big story that has not come out, which has massive relevance for history and for the entire world, I go all out to bring it to light, as I have done with this book. Most of the books I have written have been devoted to telling big, unknown stories that concern the world. (Examples: alien intelligence, the origins of ancient civilisations, the Chinese contribution to the history of inventions, the existence of optical technology in antiquity, who were the people who tried and executed King Charles I and why did they do it.) I simply had to expose this information to the public.

Robert's book list on the inner workings of Nazi Germany

Robert Temple Why did Robert love this book?

This is a gigantic book of 665 pages, and a reading task not for the faint-hearted. It has no index, but then, preparing one might have taken months and easily have added another 100 pages to the book.

It is a reference book which can aid anyone seriously interested in the SS security services, the SD. Much of it is based on the basic SS files seized after the War, and it summarises and reproduces those with meticulous and overwhelming thoroughness. But it must be pointed out that the higher-level secret files of the SS and SD have never been found.

The Heinrich Pfeifer book supplies a great deal of information which was unavailable to Tyas. The personnel files of the department heads of the SD have not been found, and the most detailed account of that level of the operations of the SD is to be found in Pfeifer’s…

By Stephen Tyas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked RSHA Reich Security Main Office as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

During the Nazi regime in Germany, all police forces were centralised under the command of Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler. The political police (Gestapo), the criminal police (Kripo), and the security service (SD) were all brought together under the RSHA umbrella in 1939, commanded by SS-General Reinhard Heydrich. Using RSHA in Berlin as the centre, the web of Heydrich's control extended into every corner of Nazi-occupied Europe. British and American intelligence agencies tried to get to grips with RSHA departments at the end of the war, knowing who was who and what they did, relying on what captured RSHA personnel told them…


Book cover of Hitler's Alpine Headquarters

Adrian Greaves Author Of Albert Speer - Escaping the Gallows: Secret Conversations with Hitler's Top Nazi

From my list on the rise and fall of the Third Reich.

Who am I?

As a junior British army officer, I regularly had the unique privilege of being Guard Commander at Spandau Prison (1961-64) and I regularly saw and met with top Nazi prisoners Rudolf Hess, Shirach, and Albert Speer, then serving long prison sentences. Albert Speer taught me German. I was intrigued to see photographs of these three important Nazis in better times even though they were clearly lauding it over the Germans. I had regular conversations with Speer and our relationship resulted in him admitting facts that would have seen him on the gallows in the War Crimes Trials at Nuremberg in 1945.

Adrian's book list on the rise and fall of the Third Reich

Adrian Greaves Why did Adrian love this book?

The book's wealth of contemporary photographs and maps is a spellbinding work and makes the complexity of Hitler's alpine headquarters easy to understand - and reveals how the German people adored Hitler - at least in his early days.  Hitler's headquarters and adjacent Nazi properties were seriously plundered and looted by the victorious allies - although, in the interest of history, the location has been largely restored.

By James Wilson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hitler's Alpine Headquarters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hitlers Alpine Headquarters look at the development of the Obersalzberg from a small, long established farming community, into Hitlers country residence and the Nazis southern headquarters. Introducing new images and additional text, this book is a much expanded sequel to the authors acclaimed Hitlers Alpine Retreat (P & S 2005). This book will appeal to those with a general interest in the Third Reich. It explains how and why Hitler chose this area to build a home and his connection to this region.

New chapters focus on buildings and individuals of Hitlers inner circle not covered in the earlier book.…


Book cover of Children and Play in the Holocaust: Games among the Shadows

Helen Roche Author Of The Third Reich's Elite Schools: A History of the Napolas

From my list on childhood in Nazi Germany.

Who am I?

Why did I end up spending almost a third of my life researching Nazi boarding schools, and childhood under the Third Reich more generally? I sometimes wonder if it was because I myself was sent to boarding school at the age of nine – somehow, I can sympathise with what these children had to endure, as well as knowing full well from a historian’s perspective which hardships were truly unique to a National Socialist elite education, and which were simply the kind of heart-ache that’s common to any institution which takes children away from their parents at a young age… 

Helen's book list on childhood in Nazi Germany

Helen Roche Why did Helen love this book?

This is a book that grabbed my attention straight away because it shows just how powerful the human spirit can be. Eisen explores the ways in which children caught in the horror of the Holocaust attempted to make sense of their surroundings. They might be playing in bomb craters; they might even be playing alongside the death-camps of Auschwitz, but these children’s spirit of play survived even in the shadow of annihilation. 

By George Eisen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Children and Play in the Holocaust as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An interdisciplinary study of the Holocaust combining history, psychology and anthropology, which analyzes the use of play in Jewish communities to bring an element of sanity into the lives of young people in the midst of the catastrophe.


Book cover of A Social History of the Third Reich. Richard Grunberger

Adrian Greaves Author Of Albert Speer - Escaping the Gallows: Secret Conversations with Hitler's Top Nazi

From my list on the rise and fall of the Third Reich.

Who am I?

As a junior British army officer, I regularly had the unique privilege of being Guard Commander at Spandau Prison (1961-64) and I regularly saw and met with top Nazi prisoners Rudolf Hess, Shirach, and Albert Speer, then serving long prison sentences. Albert Speer taught me German. I was intrigued to see photographs of these three important Nazis in better times even though they were clearly lauding it over the Germans. I had regular conversations with Speer and our relationship resulted in him admitting facts that would have seen him on the gallows in the War Crimes Trials at Nuremberg in 1945.

Adrian's book list on the rise and fall of the Third Reich

Adrian Greaves Why did Adrian love this book?

The Nazis developed a unique social structure of total compliance with fear and terror just out of sight. The work describes family life struggling with the ritual of Nazism from the privileged elite, the average German family seeking some normality to the open oppression of the Jews.

By Richard Grunberger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Social History of the Third Reich. Richard Grunberger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the most devastating portraits ever drawn of a human society - life in Hitler's Germany during the Third Reich

The Nazis developed a social system unprecedented in history. It was rigidly hierarchical, with the seemingly beneficent and ascetic figure of Hitler at the top - focus for the homage and aspirations of every man,
woman and child. How did the 'ordinary citizen' live under such a system? The author discusses such subjects as beauty in the Third Reich (no cosmetics, no slimming) as well as charting how you progressed to the elite Nazi cadres - administrators, propagandists or…


Book cover of The Nazis Go Underground

Robert Temple Author Of Drunk on Power Vol 1: A Senior Defector's Inside Account of the Nazi Secret Police State

From my list on the inner workings of Nazi Germany.

Who am I?

When I find a big story that has not come out, which has massive relevance for history and for the entire world, I go all out to bring it to light, as I have done with this book. Most of the books I have written have been devoted to telling big, unknown stories that concern the world. (Examples: alien intelligence, the origins of ancient civilisations, the Chinese contribution to the history of inventions, the existence of optical technology in antiquity, who were the people who tried and executed King Charles I and why did they do it.) I simply had to expose this information to the public.

Robert's book list on the inner workings of Nazi Germany

Robert Temple Why did Robert love this book?

This book was originally published by Doubleday, New York, in 1944. This book also contains material obtained from Heinrich Pfeifer, not only from Pfeifer’s own experience but from Pfeifer’s secret network of sympathisers and informants deep within the Nazi Establishment.

It is alarming in the extreme, detailing as it does how the Nazis of the SS and SD had since 1943 started planning to metastasize their doctrines all round the world, and found a Nazi International organisation, with the eventual hope of creating a Fourth Reich which was not dependent upon the territory of Germany, but was spread across the world invisibly, so that no armies could ever conquer it.

They planned the ratlines and escape routes to all the friendly countries such as Argentina and Chile. Their ratline HQ was in Madrid, with the full cooperation of the Franco Government. One of the two chief organisers was SS Lieutenant…

By Curt Reiss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Nazis Go Underground as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Its existence is known only by the effects of its action.' Author Curt Riess on what happens when an organisation goes underground. Written in 1944, thus contemporary to the events of the Second World War and Nazi Germany, The Nazis Go Underground describes how the Nazis planned and organised their descent into the underground as early as 1943. At this stage of the war, the situation for the Third Reich looked grim. With Bormann and Himmler as its architects, the Nazi party would go underground and prepare for World War III from the shattered ruins of Berlin. German generals were…


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