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Albert Meets America

How Journalists Treated Genius during Einstein's 1921 Travels

edited by J

Publication Year: 2006

In 1919, newspaper headlines said that a British expedition had confirmed Einstein's general theory of relativity. The news stirred the public imagination on both sides of the Atlantic and thrust the scientist into the spotlight of fame. Two years later, Chaim Weizmann led a fund-raising mission to the United States and invited Einstein to join it. The mission traveled to New York, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Hartford to campaign for public awareness and support of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This brought Einstein within the grasp of the American media. His lectures delivered in New York, Princeton, and Chicago, and comments on the Jewish presence in Palestine, made Einstein, on his first trip to America, one of the first media stars. In Albert Meets America, József Illy presents a fascinating compilation of media stories of Einstein’s tour—which cover his science, his Zionism, and the anti-Semitism he encountered. As we travel with Einstein, from headline to headline, we experience his emotional connection with American Jews and his frustration at becoming world famous even though his theories were not truly understood. This exciting collection gives readers an intimate glimpse into the life of one of the world’s first modern celebrities and a unique understanding of the media's power over both its subject and its audience.

Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword

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pp. ix-xiii

When chided for agreeing to make his first trip to the United States as part of a Zionist delegation, rather than as a representative of German science, Einstein replied to his colleague Fritz Haber, the Nobel Prize winner in chemistry: ...

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Preface

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pp. xv-xvii

When Einstein joined Chaim Weizmann’s tour of the United States in 1921 to gain support among American Jewry for the Zionist cause, his role was to raise funds for the establishment of Hebrew University. Although news coverage of the trip frequently focused on Weizmann’s fierce disputes with the leaders of American Zionism, ...

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1 Antecedents

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pp. 1-

The first official step taken by the World Zionist Organization to request Einstein’s help in fostering the cause of Hebrew University in Jerusalem was a letter written by Hugo Bergmann on October 22, 1919. Bergmann asked Einstein to join a fundraising mission to the United States for the Palestine Foundation Fund (Keren Hayesod).1 ...

2 To Visit America (February 21–April 1)

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pp. 2-12

3 Prof. Einstein Here (New York, April 2–3)

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pp. 13-43

4 City’s Welcome (April 5)

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pp. 44-49

5 Freedom of City Is Refused (April 5)

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pp. 50-56

6 Freedom of the City Is Given (April 8)

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pp. 57-72

7 Fervid Reception (April 10–12)

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pp. 73-91

8 Demonstrates with Chalk (April 15–18)

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pp. 92-102

9 Defines the Speed of Light (April 18–23)

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pp. 103-131

10 Puzzles Harding (Washington, April 25–26)

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pp. 132-139

11 Speaks for Proposed Zionist University (New York, April 27–May 1)

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pp. 140-145

12 Baffled in Chicago (May 2–8)

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pp. 146-159

13 Princeton Hears Einstein Explain (May 9–14)

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pp. 160-208

14 Sees Boston (May 17–18)

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pp. 209-250

15 Push Hebrew Medical Work (New York, May 19–21)

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pp. 251-255

16 Coming to Hartford (May 22)

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pp. 256-280

17 Professor Einstein and the Hat (New York, May 23)

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pp. 281-283

18 To Be in Cleveland (May 25–26)

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pp. 284-305

19 To Greet Einstein (Philadelphia, May 29)

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pp. 306-308

20 Sails Today (New York, May 30)

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pp. 309-314

21 Aftermath (Berlin, June 27–August 24)

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pp. 315-334

Notes

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pp. 335-338

Bibliography

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pp. 339-342

Index

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pp. 343-345


E-ISBN-13: 9780801891663
E-ISBN-10: 0801891663
Print-ISBN-13: 9780801884573
Print-ISBN-10: 0801884578

Page Count: 320
Illustrations: 16 halftones, 7 line drawings
Publication Year: 2006

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Subject Headings

  • Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955 -- Public opinion.
  • Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955 -- Travel -- United States.
  • United States -- Description and travel.
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