How an unknown German and an Englishman on opposite sides of WWI created a scientific revolution.
Matthew Stanley is professor of the history of science at New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. He has published two academic books and has written for Physics Today, Physics World and the Los Angeles Review of Books. He has a podcast, What the If?!?, and has appeared on documentaries on the History Channel, BBC and NPR. This is his first trade book.
Riveting . . . Stanley lets us share the excitement a hundred years
later in this entertaining and gripping book. It's a must read if
you ever wondered how Einstein became 'Einstein' -- Manjit Kumar,
author of 'Quantum'
Deeply researched and profoundly absorbing . . . Matthew Stanley traces one of the greatest epics of scientific history . . . An amazing story -- Michael Frayn, author of Tony Award-winning 'Copenhagen'
For a century, Einstein's relativity has inspired otherworldly thoughts. Yet as Matthew Stanley demonstrates, Einstein's efforts were deeply enmeshed within our own world - a world riven by the drama and disruption of the First World War. This beautifully written, moving account captures the heady thrills and crushing setbacks of one of the great intellectual adventures of modern times -- David Kaiser, Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and Professor of Physics, MIT, author of 'How the Hippies Saved Physics'
Even if you know a lot about the history of relativity - even if you know the old stories about Sir Arthur Eddington's voyage in 1919 to try to prove Albert Einstein's theories correct - you probably haven't pondered just how unlikely the Einstein/Eddington pairing really was. At a time where the mere hint of fraternization with the enemy could land you in jail as a spy, a Briton embraced the ideas of an enemy scientist, and helped launch the legend of arguably the greatest physicist of modern times. A fascinating story -- Charles Seife, author of Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
Detailed and readable . . . It is especially revealing about Einstein's scientific work and private life leading up to the momentous events of 1919 -- Peter Coles * Nature *
A thrilling history of the development of the theory of relativity . . . a superb account of Einstein's and Eddington's spectacularly successful struggles to work and survive under miserable wartime conditions * Kirkus Reviews, starred review *
Impressive . . . Stanley's well-told and impressively readable chronicle delivers a wider, and still relevant, message that how science is performed is inextricable from other aspects of people's lives * Publishers Weekly *
He succeeds in wrapping up the global, national and scientific politics of an era in a compelling story of one man's wild theory, lucidly sketched, and its experimental confirmation in the unlikeliest and most exotic circumstances -- Simon Ings * Spectator *
Few books about events a century ago carry as relevant a message for today's world of resurgent nationalism as does Matthew Stanley's Einstein's War . . . Stanley is a storyteller par excellence...[his] riveting, blow-by-blow account of Einstein's struggle...is an unusually reader-friendly journey into relativity theory . . . Einstein and Eddington would have liked it * Washington Post *
An insightful and elegantly written exploration of the impact of war on science in both Britain and Germany -- PD Smith * TLS *