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Yet another entry in Einsteiniana marking the centennial of his general theory of relativity, this anthology is selective enough to render it insufficiently authoritative for would-be biographers yet too long and amorphous for enthusiasts. Nonetheless, editors Rowe (history of mathematics & natural sciences, Johannes Gutenberg Univ., Mainz, Germany) and Schulmann (formerly history, Boston Univ.), both formerly with the Einstein Papers Project, have extracted the essential nonscientific pronouncements of this most public of the last century's intellectuals. While most of its real highlights appeared in Einstein's lifetime, many important writings are published here for the first time, in English translation or otherwise. Organizing the text into thematic chapters (e.g., Zionism, disarmament), the editors introduce each section with a historical summary and then each writing-whether a complete essay, letter, or mere extract-with excellent but not unopinionated abstracts that set the context in which Einstein felt compelled to make a particular case. The passages on the possibility of religious belief coexisting with scientific inquiry are remarkable 50 years on not for their originality but their staying power, while Einstein's vision of a secular, inclusive state in which émigré Jews live harmoniously with indigenous Arabs remains an unfulfilled wish. Recommended, but essential only for serious research collections.
—Scott H. Silverman