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Albert Einstein, The Human Side

Albert Einstein, The Human Side: Glimpses from His Archives (New in Paperback)

Helen Dukas
Banesh Hoffmann
With a new foreword by Ze’ev Rosenkranz
Copyright Date: 1979
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Albert Einstein, The Human Side
    Book Description:

    Modesty, humor, compassion, and wisdom are the traits most evident in this illuminating selection of personal papers from the Albert Einstein Archives. The illustrious physicist wrote as thoughtfully to an Ohio fifth-grader, distressed by her discovery that scientists classify humans as animals, as to a Colorado banker who asked whether Einstein believed in a personal God. Witty rhymes, an exchange with Queen Elizabeth of Belgium about fine music, and expressions of his devotion to Zionism are but some of the highlights found in this warm and enriching book.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-4812-6
    Subjects: History of Science & Technology, History, Physics, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Foreword to the 2013 Paperback Edition
    (pp. v-xiii)
    Ze’ev Rosenkranz

    This little gem of a book, edited by Einstein’s longtime secretary Helen Dukas and his erstwhile collaborator Banesh Hoffmann, was originally published in mid-March 1979 to coincide with the celebration of that year’s centenary of the birth of Albert Einstein. Presenting over 140 excerpts from the great physicist’s writings and correspondence, the editors provide explanatory introductions to each individual passage. As described in their preface, the editors’ goal for the publication was to offer “a seemingly rambling sightseeing journey whose cumulative effect, we hope, will be a deeper and richer understanding of Einstein the man” (p. 4).

    Undoubtedly, the editors...

  3. Publisher’s Preface
    (pp. xiv-xvi)
  4. Albert Einstein, The Human Side Glimpses from His Archives
    (pp. 1-116)

    Albert einstein was not only the greatest scientist of his time but also by far the most famous. Moreover, he answered letters. And it is this combination that makes the present book possible.

    Unlike our previous book, Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel, this one is not a biography and does not explain Einstein’s ideas. It has no chapters, no table of contents, no index, and, at first glance, no plan or structure. It consists, for the most part, of quotations from hitherto unpublished letters and the like that Einstein wrote without thought of publication. There is no need to describe...

    (pp. 117-164)

    Here are the German texts of writings that were sent out in German; and also, whenever available, texts of preliminary German drafts of items that were sent out in English. The page references show where the corresponding English versions begin.

    Eines Tages erhielt ich im Berner Patentamt ein grosses Couvert, aus dem ein nobles Papier herauskam, auf dem in pittureskem Druck (ich glaube sogar auf Lateinisch) etwas stand, das mich unpersönlich und wenig interessant anmutete und sofort in den amtlichen Papierkorb flog. Später erfuhr ich, dass dies eine Einladung zur Calvinfeier war nebst Ankündigung, dass ich an der Genfer Universität...

  6. Einstein: a Brief Chronology
    (pp. 165-166)

    Albert einstein was born in Ulm, Germany, on 14 March 1879, his sister Maja being born in Munich two and a half years later. Given a magnetic compass at the age of five, he was overwhelmed by a feeling of awe and wonder that remained with him for the rest of his life and underlay his greatest scientific achievements. At age twelve he felt a similar wonder on first looking into a geometry textbook.

    He hated the discipline and rote learning in the German schools and at age fifteen became a school dropout. In 1896 he entered the Polytechnic Institute...

  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 167-168)