Ein­stein on Pol­i­tics: His Pri­vate Thoughts and Pub­lic Stands on Nation­al­ism, Zion­ism, War, Peace, and the Bomb

David E. Rowe and Robert Schul­mann, eds.

  • Review
By – February 20, 2012

Albert Ein­stein was more than a man of sci­ence; he was a man of con­science, a spokesper­son for a num­ber of groups with dif­fer­ent agen­das: Jews, intel­lec­tu­als, and philoso­phers among them.

The edi­tors have sift­ed through more than forty years of Einstein’s let­ters, speech­es, and tes­ti­monies that serve as evi­dence of this breadth of con­cerns. Although not an obser­vant Jew, he nonethe­less came to the defense of his co-reli­gion­ists when Hitler came to pow­er. He sim­i­lar­ly spoke out against Stal­in, all in an ele­gant style indica­tive of a lost art, when writ­ten cor­re­spon­dence was the main source of communication.

Rowe and Schul­mann include a wide range of doc­u­ments on top­ics such as anti- Semi­tism and Zion­ism, Ger­many and the fate of Jews under the Nazi regime, and nuclear weapons and the threat of war, some­what iron­ic since his work was the launch point of the Man­hat­tan Project.

The book includes a brief but thor­ough his­tor­i­cal intro­duc­tion. Each entry is pref­aced by a brief intro­duc­tion to put the doc­u­ment into per­spec­tive. Index.

Ron Kaplan is the sports and fea­tures edi­tor for the New Jer­sey Jew­ish News, where he hosts Kaplan’s Korner, a blog about Jews and sports. His first book, 501 Base­ball Books Fans Must Read before They Die, was pub­lished in 2013. His arti­cle and book reviews have appeared in numer­ous nation­al and inter­na­tion­al pub­li­ca­tions. Kaplan lives in Mont­clair, NJ.

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