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The Travel Diaries of Albert Einstein: The Far East, Palestine, and Spain, 1922-1923

The Travel Diaries of Albert Einstein: The Far East, Palestine, and Spain, 1922-1923

Edited by Ze'ev Rosenkranz

"The Travel Diaries is a substantially revised version of the 2012 translation that comes with an illuminating introduction and astonishingly comprehensive end-notes by Ze’ev Rosenkranz. . . . Anyone interested in Einstein’s complex, sometimes self-contradictory, character will be enjoyably provoked by reading his piquant Travel Diaries."—Andrew Robinson, Science

"The handwritten diary shows Einstein in an unfamiliar light, as a tourist—in the real, earthbound sense, not (as in his famous thought experiment) riding a light beam through space-time. Never intended for publication, it records his thoughts and impressions as they occurred, unmediated and unfiltered by considerations of how they would affect his image."—Jerry Adler, Smithsonian

"Few know of Einstein’s writings on travel. . . . That shortcoming may now be remedied with the publication of a fascinating narrative of his first main travels outside of Europe."—Michael Curtis, New English Review

In the fall of 1922, Albert Einstein, along with his then-wife, Elsa Einstein, embarked on a five-and-a-half-month voyage to the Far East and Middle East, regions that the renowned physicist had never visited before. Einstein's lengthy itinerary consisted of stops in Hong Kong and Singapore, two brief stays in China, a six-week whirlwind lecture tour of Japan, a twelve-day tour of Palestine, and a three-week visit to Spain. This handsome edition makes available the complete journal that Einstein kept on this momentous journey.

The telegraphic-style diary entries record Einstein's musings on science, philosophy, art, and politics, as well as his immediate impressions and broader thoughts on such events as his inaugural lecture at the future site of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a garden party hosted by the Japanese Empress, an audience with the King of Spain, and meetings with other prominent colleagues and statesmen. Entries also contain passages that reveal Einstein's stereotyping of members of various nations and raise questions about his attitudes on race. This beautiful edition features stunning facsimiles of the diary's pages, accompanied by an English translation, an extensive historical introduction, numerous illustrations, and annotations. Supplementary materials include letters, postcards, speeches, and articles, a map of the voyage, a chronology, a bibliography, and an index.

Einstein would go on to keep a journal for all succeeding trips abroad, and this first volume of his travel diaries offers an initial, intimate glimpse into a brilliant mind encountering the great, wide world.

384 pages
Princeton University Press, 2018
6.5 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
ISBN 9780691174419
Biography, History  

$29.95 $29.95