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Albert Meets America

How Journalists Treated Genius during Einstein's 1921 Travels

edited by József Illy

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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…

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.

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Albert Meets America

edited by József Illy

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Reviews

Reviews

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

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.

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

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
320
ISBN
9780801891663
Illustration Description
16 halftones, 7 line drawings
Table of Contents

Foreword, by Diana K. Buchwald
Preface
1. Antecedents
2. To Visit America (February 21–April 1)
3. Prof. Einstein Here (New York, April 2–3)
4. City's Welcome (April 5)
5. Freedom of City Is Refused (April

Foreword, by Diana K. Buchwald
Preface
1. Antecedents
2. To Visit America (February 21–April 1)
3. Prof. Einstein Here (New York, April 2–3)
4. City's Welcome (April 5)
5. Freedom of City Is Refused (April 5)
6. Freedom of the City Is Given (April 8)
7. Fervid Reception (April 10–12)
8. Demonstrates with Chalk (April 15–18)
9. Defines the Speed of Light (April 18–23)
10. Puzzles Harding (Washington, April 25–26)
11. Speaks for Proposed Zionist University (New York, April 27–May 1)
12. Baffled in Chicago (May 2–8)
13. Princeton Hears Einstein Explain (May 9–14)
14. Sees Boston (May 17–18)
15. Push Hebrew Medical Work (New York, May 19–21)
16. Coming to Hartford (May 22)
17. Professor Einstein and the Hat (New York, May 23)
18. To Be in Cleveland (May 25–26)
19. To Greet Einstein (Philadelphia, May 29)
20. Sails Today (New York, May 30)
21. Aftermath (Berlin, June 27–August 24)
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

József Illy

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