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The Road to Relativity:
The History and Meaning of Einstein's "The Foundation of General Relativity", Featuring the Original Manuscript of Einstein's Masterpiece
Hanoch Gutfreund & Jürgen Renn
With a foreword by John Stachel

Paperback | 2017 | $22.95 | £18.95 | ISBN: 9780691175812
Hardcover | 2015 | $35.00 | £27.95 | ISBN: 9780691162539
264 pp. | 8 x 10 | 100 halftones. 41 line illus.
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This richly annotated facsimile edition of "The Foundation of General Relativity" introduces a new generation of readers to Albert Einstein's theory of gravitation. Written in 1915, this remarkable document is a watershed in the history of physics and an enduring testament to the elegance and precision of Einstein's thought. Presented here is a beautiful facsimile of Einstein's original handwritten manuscript, along with its English translation and an insightful page-by-page commentary that places the work in historical and scientific context. Hanoch Gutfreund and Jürgen Renn's concise introduction traces Einstein's intellectual odyssey from special to general relativity, and their essay "The Charm of a Manuscript" provides a delightful meditation on the varied afterlife of Einstein's text. Featuring a foreword by John Stachel, this handsome edition also includes a biographical glossary of the figures discussed in the book, a comprehensive bibliography, suggestions for further reading, and numerous photos and illustrations throughout.

Hanoch Gutfreund is professor emeritus of theoretical physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is also the academic director of the Albert Einstein Archives. Jürgen Renn is a director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.


"Any devotee of Einstein will relish the chance to parse this annotated facsimile of the physicist's original manuscript on general relativity. . . . [Gutfreund and Renn's] cogent descriptions and the accompanying illustrations and documents open a fascinating window onto Einstein's otherwise inaccessible opus."--Scientific American

"[Gutfreund and Renn] remind us of the charm a manuscript affords: rare glimpses into the working process of a great mind."--New Scientist

"The Road to Relativity by Hanoch Gutfreund and Jürgen Renn reproduces the 45 handwritten--and hand-corrected--pages of Einstein's general theory, accompanied by extensive annotations on the science, its historical context and the implications for the future. The volume also includes a glossary of scientists and philosophers relevant to Einstein's work and some entertainingly lively illustrations--such as one of Einstein pouring coffee on a moving train to demonstrate that motion is relative--by Laurent Taudin."--Nancy Szokan, Washington Post

"Gutfreund and Renn dissect every page of the manuscript, explaining the meaning of each passage and describing Einstein's thought processes leading up to it. . . . The Road to Relativity is accessible and engaging."--Tom Siegfried, Science News

"[A] wonderful book that combines a facsimile of Einstein's original manuscript, an English translation and a rich annotation."--Bill Condie, Cosmos Magazine


"The feeling a physicist has in reading Einstein's handwritten manuscript on general relativity must be like what a pianist would feel upon seeing a draft of Bach's Goldberg Variations. What kind of human creativity can produce something like this? Gutfreund and Renn provide the context for the paper, and the English translation enables readers not fluent in German to see it as a whole. This book is a little treasure."--Jeremy Bernstein, Aspen Center for Physics

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