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November 26, 2006
9780801891663
9780801884573
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v2.1 Reference

Albert Meets America

How Journalists Treated Genius during Einstein's 1921 Travels

Edited by József Illy

In 1919, newspaper headlines said that a British expedition had confirmed Einstein's general theory of relativity. The news stirred the public imagination on both sides of the Atlantic and thrust the scientist into the spotlight of fame.

Two years later, Chaim Weizmann led a fund-raising mission to the United States and invited Einstein to join it. The mission traveled to New York, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Hartford to campaign for public awareness and support of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This brought Einstein within the grasp of the American media. His lectures delivered in New York, Princeton, and Chicago, and comments on the Jewish presence in Palestine, made Einstein, on his first trip to America, one of the first media stars. In Albert Meets America, József Illy presents a fascinating compilation of media stories of Einstein’s tour—which cover his science, his Zionism, and the anti-Semitism he encountered. As we travel with Einstein, from headline to headline, we experience his emotional connection with American Jews and his frustration at becoming world famous even though his theories were not truly understood.

This exciting collection gives readers an intimate glimpse into the life of one of the world’s first modern celebrities and a unique understanding of the media's power over both its subject and its audience.

About the Author

József Illy is the visiting editor of the Einstein Papers and a visiting associate in history at the California Institute of Technology.

Reviews

"Illy has assembled more than 160 press reports of the tour, forming a wonderful record of the media reception of Einstein."

- Times Literary Supplement

"Provides a fascinating glimpse into Einstein's superstardom. It also illuminates some unexpected things, such as the tremendous lingering hostility to Germany in the America of 1921 and the effect his Zionism had on the scientific community's response to him."

- San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

"This book is an excellent addition to the Einstein literature because it covers new ground... Highly recommended."

- Choice
Johns Hopkins University Press
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9780801891663 : albert-meets-america-illy
Electronic book text
320 Pages
$31.95 USD

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