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Einstein on Race and Racism: Einstein on Race and Racism, First Paperback Edition

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Nearly fifty years after his death, Albert Einstein remains one of America's foremost cultural icons. A thicket of materials, ranging from scholarly to popular, have been written, compiled, produced, and published about his life and his teachings. Among the ocean of Einsteinia-scientific monographs, biographies, anthologies, bibliographies, calendars, postcards, posters, a Nearly fifty years after his death, Albert Einstein remains one of America's foremost cultural icons. A thicket of materials, ranging from scholarly to popular, have been written, compiled, produced, and published about his life and his teachings. Among the ocean of Einsteinia-scientific monographs, biographies, anthologies, bibliographies, calendars, postcards, posters, and Hollywood films-however, there is a peculiar void when it comes to the connection that the brilliant scientist had with the African American community. Nowhere is there any mention of his close relationship with Paul Robeson, despite Einstein's close friendship with him, or W.E.B. Du Bois, despite Einstein's support for him. This unique volume is the first to bring together a wealth of writings by the scientist on the topic of race. Although his activism in this area is less well known than his efforts on behalf of international peace and scientific cooperation, Einstein spoke out vigorously against racism both in the United States and around the world. Fred Jerome and Rodger Taylor suggest that one explanation for this historical amnesia is that Einstein's biographers avoided "controversial" topics, such as his friendships with African Americans and his political activities, including his involvement as co-chair of an antilynching campaign, fearing that mention of these details may tarnish the feel-good impression his image lends topics of science, history, and America. Combining the scientist's letters, speeches, and articles with engaging narrative and historical discussions that place his public statements in the context of his life and times, this important collection not only brings attention to Einstein's antiracist public activities, but also provides insight into the complexities of antiracist culture in America. The volume also features a selection of candid interviews with African Americans who knew Einstein as children. For a man whose words and reflections have influenced so many, it is long overdue that Einstein's thoughts on this vital topic are made easily accessible to the general public.


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Nearly fifty years after his death, Albert Einstein remains one of America's foremost cultural icons. A thicket of materials, ranging from scholarly to popular, have been written, compiled, produced, and published about his life and his teachings. Among the ocean of Einsteinia-scientific monographs, biographies, anthologies, bibliographies, calendars, postcards, posters, a Nearly fifty years after his death, Albert Einstein remains one of America's foremost cultural icons. A thicket of materials, ranging from scholarly to popular, have been written, compiled, produced, and published about his life and his teachings. Among the ocean of Einsteinia-scientific monographs, biographies, anthologies, bibliographies, calendars, postcards, posters, and Hollywood films-however, there is a peculiar void when it comes to the connection that the brilliant scientist had with the African American community. Nowhere is there any mention of his close relationship with Paul Robeson, despite Einstein's close friendship with him, or W.E.B. Du Bois, despite Einstein's support for him. This unique volume is the first to bring together a wealth of writings by the scientist on the topic of race. Although his activism in this area is less well known than his efforts on behalf of international peace and scientific cooperation, Einstein spoke out vigorously against racism both in the United States and around the world. Fred Jerome and Rodger Taylor suggest that one explanation for this historical amnesia is that Einstein's biographers avoided "controversial" topics, such as his friendships with African Americans and his political activities, including his involvement as co-chair of an antilynching campaign, fearing that mention of these details may tarnish the feel-good impression his image lends topics of science, history, and America. Combining the scientist's letters, speeches, and articles with engaging narrative and historical discussions that place his public statements in the context of his life and times, this important collection not only brings attention to Einstein's antiracist public activities, but also provides insight into the complexities of antiracist culture in America. The volume also features a selection of candid interviews with African Americans who knew Einstein as children. For a man whose words and reflections have influenced so many, it is long overdue that Einstein's thoughts on this vital topic are made easily accessible to the general public.

30 review for Einstein on Race and Racism: Einstein on Race and Racism, First Paperback Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elliot Ratzman

    You don’t have to be an Einstein to be anti-racist… Every Princetonian should read this book which centers on Einstein’s small but significant anti-racist activism from his home in the segregated Princeton of the 40s and 50s. Halfway through I thought, ‘well, it’s not like Einstein actually went to any Civil Rights meetings’—he signed some petitions, honorary chaired some committees, and wrote some small pieces. Reading on, it turns out that Einstein did indeed go to the local NAACP meetings! Th You don’t have to be an Einstein to be anti-racist… Every Princetonian should read this book which centers on Einstein’s small but significant anti-racist activism from his home in the segregated Princeton of the 40s and 50s. Halfway through I thought, ‘well, it’s not like Einstein actually went to any Civil Rights meetings’—he signed some petitions, honorary chaired some committees, and wrote some small pieces. Reading on, it turns out that Einstein did indeed go to the local NAACP meetings! This book has the most succinct and interesting chapters on the vile history of racism in the town and university of Princeton. Einstein strolled through these segregated streets, walking with sitting on the porches and talking to the children of Princeton’s black residents. This is the most extensive account of Einstein’s friendship with performer and activist Paul Robeson, the most famous black America (and Communist) of his day. Of course, Hoover’s FBI was keeping a file on this decent genius.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David Anderson

    Read this years ago when it came out; forgot to include it on my "read" list when I set up my Goodreads account. Einstein was anti-racist and pro-socialist, what more can I say. Very eye-opening; simply great. Check the other reviews here and Amazon if you want more details.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Having been discriminated against by the nazis Albert Einstein fled to the US to become witness to another racial divide. This book deals with his life in Princeton and his relationship to the segregated African American community. At the end of the book we find a compendium of Einstein's speeches on racism and fascism. The following is an exempt from these speeches : '... A man can own everything that puts him on a high level according to a crudely materialistic point of view and have a miserabl Having been discriminated against by the nazis Albert Einstein fled to the US to become witness to another racial divide. This book deals with his life in Princeton and his relationship to the segregated African American community. At the end of the book we find a compendium of Einstein's speeches on racism and fascism. The following is an exempt from these speeches : '... A man can own everything that puts him on a high level according to a crudely materialistic point of view and have a miserable existence. He may be persecuted by fear, hatred or envy, he may be deaf to merry songs and blind to blooming life...' I got to appreciate Einstein more for his social struggles after reading this. Very recommended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Potassium

    An interesting book, reminding us about everything Einstein did that was not science. He was a patron of the arts and incredibly involved in the civil rights movement. I think this is important for everyone to read - the history is fascinating and it's important to know that scientists don't just do science. Favorite quote: "Too bad they made that absent-minded image of him." As for the book itself - I think it was written with great intentions but kind of poor execution. I really liked the first An interesting book, reminding us about everything Einstein did that was not science. He was a patron of the arts and incredibly involved in the civil rights movement. I think this is important for everyone to read - the history is fascinating and it's important to know that scientists don't just do science. Favorite quote: "Too bad they made that absent-minded image of him." As for the book itself - I think it was written with great intentions but kind of poor execution. I really liked the first half and then the second half seemed more scattered with a lot of quotes and little to no background to support them. Everyone should still read this book though.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sambasivan

    Hitherto unknown facts about Einstein's anti racist philosophy have been beautifully unearthed. My respect for this genius scientist has gone up a few notches. It takes a lot of courage for an immigrant to advice the Americans on anti slavery and civil rights and Einstein has done some pioneering work to establish equality between the blacks and whites. Quite instructive.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rushay Booysen

    I loved this read and the strong stance Einstein took against racism.This book also highlighted the strong bond between Albert and Paul Robeson,it highlights some of the letters he wrote and his view on racism against the African race.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Neverdust

    Read. This. Book. Especially the documents at the end. It's way too short for anyone to have any excuse not to.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jani-Petri

    Interesting for its content, but not that great in presentation.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    530.092 J561 2005

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Just started this read for my book club.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Renada Thompson

    Read for the 2015 Reading Challenge: A book written by an author with your same initials

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  13. 4 out of 5

    Szamil

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carl Andrews

  15. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  16. 5 out of 5

    Josue Ortega

  17. 4 out of 5

    Christina

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kds

  19. 5 out of 5

    Walli F. Leff

  20. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

  21. 5 out of 5

    David Hagan

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dgoens

  23. 4 out of 5

    Peter Hefti

  24. 5 out of 5

    K. Glover

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ronald A. Williams

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chris Baker

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marian

    This book is a must-read. I'll be writing more at a later date.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Viktoria Sinelnik

  30. 4 out of 5

    Libby Ann

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