Dear Professor Einstein: Albert Einstein's Letters to and from Children

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Overview

This enchanting book displays a small sampling of the amusing, touching, and sometimes precocious letters sent to Albert Einstein by children from around the world, and his often witty and very considerate responses. Alice Calaprice has compiled a delightful and charming collection of more than 60 letters, most never published before, from children to perhaps the greatest scientist of all time. Enhancing this correspondence are numerous photographs showing Einstein amid children, wearing an Indian headdress, carrying a puppet of himself, donning furry slippers, among many other wonderful pictures. They reveal the intimate human side of the great public persona, a man who, though he spent his days contemplating the impersonal abstractions of mathematics and physics, was very fond of children and enjoyed being in their company.

Obviously, Einstein led a busy life, and so he could not answer every letter sent to him. Nonetheless, he made time to respond to those that touched him in some way. To Monique from New York, who asked about the age of the Earth and when it will come to an end, he patiently responded that it is a little more than a billion years old, and, "As for the question of the end of it I advise: Wait and see!" To "six little scientists" from Morgan City, Louisiana, who despite the skepticism of their classmates maintained that life would survive even if the sun burned out, he wrote, "The minority is sometimes right—but not in your case."

Complete with a foreword by Einstein's granddaughter Evelyn, a biography and chronology of Einstein's life, and an introduction by Einstein scholar Robert Schulmann on the great scientist's educational philosophy, this wonderful compilation will be welcomed by teachers, parents, and all the young, budding scientists in their lives.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Scientific Thoughts "I have started to write before many times, only to tear the letter into bits. For you are such a brillant [sic] person... I am just an average twelve year old girl in the 7A at Eliot Junior High School... You and my uncle, who is in the Coast Guard, are my heroes." So begins one of the many touching missives on everything from the theory of relativity to a comic book about atoms in Dear Professor Einstein: Albert Einstein's Letters to and from Children, edited by Alice Calaprice (The Quotable Einstein). Includes a thumbnail biography, an introduction by Einstein scholar Robert Schulmann and a foreword by the physicist's granddaughter, Evelyn Einstein. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
The author of The Quotable Einstein and its sequel (Princeton U. Press, 1996, 2000) presents his correspondence with children worldwide, 1928-55. They ask for autographs and such intriguing questions as: Do scientists pray? How do you get to be famous? Includes translations, annotations, a foreword by Einstein's granddaughter, a chronology, biography, essay on his educational philosophy, and family photos. Like Einstein, Calaprice is German- born and connected to the Princeton physicist community. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591020158
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 809,113
  • Product dimensions: 5.21 (w) x 7.41 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Alice Calaprice (Princeton, NJ) is the editor of The Quotable Einstein and The Expanded Quotable Einstein, and the coauthor of An Owl in the House, a science book for young audiences. She was formerly a Senior Editor at Princeton University Press and worked with that press's ongoing series, The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, for almost 25 years.
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