The Travel Diaries of Albert Einstein
The Far East, Palestine, and Spain, 1922 - 1923
Edited by Ze'ev Rosenkranz
In the fall of 1922, Albert Einstein, along with his then-wife, Elsa Einstein, embarked on a five-and-a-half-month voyage to the Far East and Middle East, regions that the renowned physicist had never visited before. Einstein's lengthy itinerary consisted of stops in Hong Kong and Singapore, two brief stays in China, a six-week whirlwind lecture tour of Japan, a twelve-day tour of Palestine, and a three-week visit to Spain. This handsome edition makes available, for the first time, the complete journal that Einstein kept on this momentous journey.
The telegraphic-style diary entries--quirky, succinct, and at times irreverent—record Einstein's musings on science, philosophy, art, and politics, as well as his immediate impressions and broader thoughts on such events as his inaugural lecture at the future site of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a garden party hosted by the Japanese Empress, an audience with the King of Spain, and meetings with other prominent colleagues and statesmen. Entries also contain passages that reveal Einstein's stereotyping of members of various nations and raise questions about his attitudes on race. This beautiful edition features stunning facsimiles of the diary's pages, accompanied by an English translation, an extensive historical introduction, numerous illustrations, and annotations. Supplementary materials include letters, postcards, speeches, and articles, a map of the voyage, a chronology, a bibliography, and an index.
Einstein would go on to keep a journal for all succeeding trips abroad, and this first volume of his travel diaries offers an initial, intimate glimpse into a brilliant mind encountering the great, wide world.Ze'ev Rosenkranz is senior editor and assistant director of the Einstein Papers Project at the California Institute of Technology. Previously, he was the Bern Dibner Curator of the Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is the author of Einstein Before Israel (Princeton) and The Einstein Scrapbook.