For all of his popular appeal and surface accessibility, Einstein
also came to symbolize the perception that modern physics was something that ordinary laymen could not comprehend, "the province of priest-like experts, " in the words of Harvard professor Herschbach.
Yet, from his days as a young academic in Europe to the end of his illustrious life in the United States in 1955 at age 76, Albert Einstein
was a committed and often clever advocate for human dignity and the need for creative freedom.
Weaker are the attempts to contextualize the papers, largely limited as they are to brief histories of ideas, rather than more detailed accounts of the practices and programmes of the scholars whose work Einstein
used and who then read and interpreted his papers.
As a young boy in militaristic Germany watching children join in as troops marched through town, Einstein
once began to cry.
An important catalyst in this remarkable transformation has been the real estate-dominated Men's Division of Einstein
left his native Germany in 1933 for Princeton, where he lived until his death in 1955.
This is how Einstein
introduced himself on the phone.
himself appears in other pieces: aboard a schooner which is displaced by a ghostly cohort encroaching in a speedboat in Tinnef (Sailing Boat); enraptured, eyes closed, while playing the violin in Dancing in the Kitchen with You; and contemplating a sulfurous figure of apocalyptic light in Einstein
1905 (a diptych in which this primary image is wryly juxtaposed with a diminutive companion panel of an elephant).
spent much time at the Odeon Cafe, a hangout for Russian radicals, including Alexandra Kollontai, Leon Trotsky, and, a few years later, Lenin.
was 26 and unknown in 1905 when, in the course of a year, he completed three scientific papers that would begin to rewrite the rules of physics and make him a star.
liked to think of himself as Newton's successor in the pantheon of scientific geniuses, as if some numinous power could be passed on from one to another.