The Magazine

Genius on Parade

Einstein comes to America.

Mar 31, 2008, Vol. 13, No. 28 • By EDWIN M. YODER JR.
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

There was occasional worry about the ethical implications of the Einstein theory. It implied that there was no fixed "hitching post" in the universe which, though finite, had no boundaries, space/time being curvilinear. But philosophers assured their fretful audiences that Relativity was no threat to moral truth; and there were no fulminations (none, at least, recorded here) from holy-roller pulpits. America was struggling manfully to make friends with modern science.

This book is a good idea, but would have been better had it been more selectively edited. As it stands, the reader must hack his way through wildernesses of lists, long-forgotten names, and endlessly duplicated schedules of greeting and reception. If both the New York Times and the New York Post reported the same events, the editor democratically includes both overlapping accounts. At half the length this could have been a more reader-friendly chronicle.

Edwin M. Yoder Jr. is a former editor and columnist in Washington.