THE OTHER EINSTEIN -- the story of Einstein's wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated
The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict (2016, Sourcebooks Landmark; 304 pages)
It is the year 1896. Mileva Marić, a twenty year old woman, has chosen a very different path than most of the girls around her. Mileva is smart enough to join an elite group of Zurich male students studying physics, among them Albert Einstein, who takes an interest in her at a moment when her world turns sideways.
The Other Einstein is the story of the brilliant Mile Marić, incredible physicist and Einstein's wife, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight. The author offers us a window into a fascinating woman with an incredible personality whose light suffered in Einstein's enormous shadow.
Marie Benedict bases her work of fiction on a cache of love letters between the couple dated from 1897 to 1903, years when Mileva and Albert were university students first and then a married couple. Those letters were discovered in 1980. The book searches to find the answer to the question of what role Mileva truly played in Albert's "miracle year" of 1905, when she was forced to subsume her academic ambitions and intellect to his ascent, and investigates how she had to disguise her own discoveries and his.
This is a story of another woman in science whose aspirations and contributions suffered from a misogynist society. It is also the story of women's friendship, a fascinating and thoughtful reading. Recommended.
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Recommended by: Maite