File Size: 2309 KB
Print Length: 182 pages
Publisher: Philosophical Library/Open Road (March 14, 2011)
Publication Date: March 14, 2011
Albert Einstein was undoubtedly the most famous and revolutionary scientist of the 20th Century, known especially for his special and general theories of relativity, his explanation of the photoelectric effect, his recognition that matter could be converted into immense amounts of energy, and his studies in cosmology. But he or she also had wide-ranging beliefs about politics and social affairs. This book, now available as a Amazon kindle e-book, is an amount of 43 essays and talks that were written for specific occasions. They cover a variety of subjects that interested your pet and in several situations provide useful lessons for our own time.
The first part of the collection, through Essay 20, is involved with pre- and post-World War II concerns. Einstein, himself a long term pacifist, argued for a world government that discussed a common pool of armaments and was capable of keeping the peacefulness among fractious national governments. He didn't think that the Un, as constituted with securities Council and permanent-member veto power was going to work in the long term. He recommended a world government where delegates were directly elected by the people on the proportional schedule. He recognized the great danger of atomic and nuclear weapons and recommended their strict control by the world government.
Inside politics, Einstein was a socialist and strongly recommended for such things as a planned economy, free education at all levels, and regulation of capitalist ventures. Today, he would be branded a Marxist, but he disapproved of the Soviet system as being too rigid and corrupt.
He advocated an active role for scientists in society and that science should help to shape government policies. He or she distrusted the military and spoke of the danger of a military takeover of science in order to utilize it for war-making purposes. In that, he or she anticipated Eisenhower's farewell tackle about the dangers of a military-industrial complex.
Another set of essays are short descriptions of the scientific achievements of several famous scientists: Newton, Kepler, Marie Curie, Max Planck, and fewer well-known others. There is also a eulogy to Mahatma Gandi.
The last part of the book is dedicated to Jewish issues and Zionism. Although Einstein was not religious in a traditional sense (his beliefs were strongly influenced by Spinoza), he nevertheless backed Zionism, with some misgivings, and was greatly concerned with the future of European Judaism after World Battle II and the Holocaust. Interestingly, he actually thought that it would be a mistake for Jewish refugees to migrate to Middle east and hoped that the U. S. would see fit to accept them. Then, he was primarily opposed to carving away a separate Jewish state in Palestine, but recommended rather naively that Jew and Arab live side by side in peace in a unified Palestine. Later, he or she modified these views because of actual developments. Having been offered the mostly etiqueta position of President of Israel, but he declined.
Finally, there is an appended biography of Einstein, along with photographs obtained at various stages of his life, and a listing of acknowledgements.
I found this book to be fascinating to read, both for its historical perspective on problems of his day and then for insights into problems that continue into our time. Einstein was a good writer and had a good grasp of English, so I presume (perhaps incorrectly) that he or she wrote all these essays themselves. Occasionally, the writing is somewhat convoluted rather than as clear as it could be for a modern reader, but mostly it is quite readable. Those who would like to know how a great scientific mind appeared at problems of individual society will value this collection of essays.
Footnote, added 6 Sept this year: Another collection of writings by Einstein, "Out of My Later Years, inch published about the same time as "Essays in Humanism, " contains most but not all of these essays in the four sections titled General public Affairs, Science and Existence, Personalities, and My People. "Out of My Later on Years" also contains several of Einstein's scientific paperwork and essays, with a previously ones translated from The german language., As a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Albert Einstein became famous for formulating the theory of relativity, the equation of mass-energy equivalence, and other important breakthroughs that changed the way we view the world. During his lifetime, nevertheless , his renown as a scientist allowed him to increase his sphere of impact beyond the realm of physics. As a open public intellectual, he also talked out on politics, economics, and social issues. Essays in Humanism is a selection of Einstein’s nonscientific writings in these areas. Very first published in 1950 by the Philosophical Library, this collection has been recently rereleased in ebook form by Open Road Mass media. The 43 essays incorporated, written from 1933 to 1949, were actually presented as public speeches, book forewords, or newspaper and magazine articles.
Because of the time frame by which these pieces were written, World War II weighs like an evil spectre over the complete proceedings. Whether or not commenting on the increase of the Nazis before the war or the Cold War that immediately followed it, Einstein ardently advocates for world peacefulness. Having contributed to the making of the atomic bomb, and having seen its effects in Japan, Einstein feels compelled to note that nuclear weapons are never used again, though Cold War antagonism between the United States and the Soviet Union make Armageddon an ever-present threat. To prevent World Battle III, Einstein proposes that nations relinquish their armed service capacity to a supranational regulating body, stronger than the Un, which would insure peace by settling international disputes through judicial instead than violent means. His / her proposal just for this plan is outlined in great details over the course of many of the essays included here. A Soviet counterargument is also reprinted, along with Einstein’s rebuttal. Surprisingly, even in the early days of the Cold War, Einstein publicly recommends socialism as an economic solution to many of the world’s problems, a stance for which he or she would likely be vilified today.
The essays in this book are not arranged chronologically, but instead thematically. This one problem of international security through supranational governance takes upward roughly two-thirds of the book. Then follows a series of several short tributes to great scientists of the past, such as Isaac Newton and Johannes Kepler, and short eulogies of departed scientific colleagues, including Marie Curie and Max Planck. The remaining quarter of the book deals with issues pertaining to the Jews, their persecution in Europe, and their attempts to ascertain a Jewish homeland in Middle east. Einstein praises settlement initiatives in Palestine but states against a totally self-governing Jewish state, as he or she fears it will only give rise to the type of rampant intolerant nationalism that spawned the two World Wars in the first place.
Overall, Einstein’s writing is excellent. He or she states his opinions very articulately while expressing an undying compassion for humanity and a conviction for social justice. Most of the book’s faults are editorial. The goal here seems to have been to accumulate anything that Einstein wrote, regardless of worth. Some of the “essays” are only two paragraphs long, and quite a bit of repetition among the selections. Nevertheless, this guide gives the 21st-century reader a great deal of insight into the world political climate of the thirties and ‘40s. Much of what Einstein describes—xenophobia, fear-mongering, extreme income disparity—bears a disturbing resemblance to the world in which we live today. His insightful perspective provides great food for thought and a touch of hope in dark times., I remember as a teen reading a biography of Einstein. I arrived away with the idea of a person who was clueless in everyday matters and, though I didn't know the term, Asperger's. Reading this collection of writings and speeches I would arrived to very different conclusion. Einstein cared deeply about people and the world around him. He was very empathetic to the plight of others.
As written in another review, this is divided into broad subject matters. I actually had to smile at the more political writings given that they read like the current Occupiers: the biggest problem with the US ALL is usually that the majority of the economic power is in the hands of a very small percentage of the people.
I had 2 problems. Since this is a Kindle book I actually couldn't easily jump back to the bibliography as I started each new essay. I was always curious about the time and circumstance. On a rare occasion it was included in the textual content, but most of the time I had developed to guess. The other problem is there was a lot of repeating. The writings came from different sources - he often said pretty much a similar thing but aimed at different people.
OK, those are extremely minor problems. Over all I found the documents fascinating. Einstein was a great writer and these essays were easy to read yet put information in their few words. Highly recommended as a way to see a different side of Einstein., What amazes me the most (ok, maybe not the MOST, but still.. ) about Einstein is his humbleness. You get a quick sense of when he's wanting to show uncertainty about any subject matter he doesn't feel competent to lecture on. An individual can also see his thoughts on certain subjects progress as time passes (despite the book not being arranged chronologically).
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