Jason Pettus's Reviews > Einstein on the Road

Einstein on the Road by Josef Eisinger
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Jan 09, 12

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bookshelves: contemporary, nonfiction, memoir, travel
Read from September 19, 2011 to January 09, 2012

(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

For those who don't know, physicist and Early Modernist Albert Einstein did quite a lot of traveling as well as heavy thinking while alive; born in Germany, he moved to Italy for a time as a child, then studied in Switzerland, then moved back to Germany and then Prague, visited America, Britain, Asia and Palestine, then fled the Nazis to first Belgium and then New Jersey for the rest of his life. And it turns out that Einstein kept pervasive journals of his travels the whole time too, which have recently been analyzed and interpreted by Josef Eisinger for the book Einstein on the Road, put out by the mostly science-book-publishing Prometheus Books (albeit with this also being the parent company that owns the cutting-edge science-fiction publisher Pyr). But alas, I suspect that the journals themselves are not too scintillating of stuff; because this book is more like a journalist or historian using such material as a source for writing their own original tale, with Eisinger trying as admirably as he can to inject a sense of excitement and globetrotting adventure to these records, but with the few direct quotes he includes making it clear that Einstein simply wasn't a romantic vagabond, and that these journals are for the most part probably mere logs full of dry facts and figures. Interesting as a historical document, this is not exactly the NPR-friendly crowdpleaser that Prometheus is trying to sell it as, although will definitely hold a lot of interest to those who wish to know more about Einstein himself.

Out of 10: 8.0
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