Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict

The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
Published Oct 18, 2016
Summary on Goodreads
Buy on Amazon

Review:
The premise seemed extremely fascinating especially because I never even once thought of Albert Einstein having a wife which seems silly now that I think about it.  However, now that I go back and think about it, a lot of those famous people back in the day, I don’t think the general public really ever thought of them as a person who had any personal life other than what we know them as.  For example, Isaac Newton: I’m sure he had a wife but we know nothing about her.  In fact, when I googled him, there wasn’t even a mention about a wife.  Imagine all the people we missed out on who probably played an essential role in supporting or fostering these great figures in our past.  So when I saw the synopsis for The Other Einstein, I jumped at it.

The book definitely started off quite slow – in fact, for the first quarter of the book, I really contemplated about putting the book down because it was just.so.slow.  I understand the author had to build the plot and the world for the readers but honestly, the pace was just ridiculously mind-numbingly slow.  However, just when I was 99% sure about putting the book down, it finally started to get interesting.  By this point, I was probably close to a third in.

All I can say is that after reading this book, if it has even an iota of truth to it then my perception of Albert Einstein has now completely shifted.  And I’m pretty sure there is some truth to the whole thing mainly because I read the extra at the end about where Marie got her information from and a lot of the facts point to some of the main points that Marie made in the book.  And if that is really the case, my entire view on Einstein has changed drastically.  It’s just mind boggling to me about how selfish he was and how he had the audacity to reprimand his own wife for her selfishness even when she even pointed out that it’s not for her sake but for the children.  Honestly, he was just so cruel to her especially towards the end – he essentially treated her with contempt.  I just can’t wrap my head around it.  The biggest sign that Albert was actually a douchebag was the way he treated his daughter.  At that point, I would have been, see ya douchebag.  Instead, Mileva gave him another chance due to her parent’s encouragements.  Such a scumbag.

As for Mileva, she was a little too weak-willed for me.  Granted, a lot of it was due to the time period where females were seen as a lower class than males; however, at the same time, Albert Einstein fell in love with her because of her mind so why did she feel so shy to speak up about his treatment of her?  Instead, she allowed him to basically walk all over her and forgave him at every turn.  I think the turning point was when he removed her name from their first collaboration and didn’t even inform her about it.  And when she forgave him by collaborating him again and he did the same thing yet again, I think that was when he realized that he could basically cut her off from everything and she would simply let him.  The biggest problem was her inability to speak up.  I believe that if she had simply gone to the patent house with him the second time around, and made sure that he would do what he said he would, then things might have been different.  People would have seen both of them as intellectual geniuses rather than simply Albert Einstein and he would include her in these scientific debates much more often.

At the end of the book, I was pretty much in shock from what happened and honestly, I’m a little curious myself now to find out what really happened.  So if you’re into historical fiction and learning an interesting take on what was preconceived for so long, definitely check.
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