Einstein's Daughter: The Search for Lieserlby Michele Zackheim
In 1902, an illegitimate daughter was born to Albert Einstein. In 1903, she vanished. Now, almost a century later, Michele Zackheim follows a mystery that has bewildered Einstein scholars the world over. After five years of travel to Serbian villages wracked by years of strife, painstaking forays into the labyrinth of Central European record-keeping, and hundreds
In 1902, an illegitimate daughter was born to Albert Einstein. In 1903, she vanished. Now, almost a century later, Michele Zackheim follows a mystery that has bewildered Einstein scholars the world over. After five years of travel to Serbian villages wracked by years of strife, painstaking forays into the labyrinth of Central European record-keeping, and hundreds of kitchen-table conversations, Zackheim answers the question of what became of Lieserl Mar'c Einstein-and offers a fascinating look into Albert Einstein's first marriage.
"Outright fascinating."-New York Daily News
"Intriguing...[Zackheim's] remarkable sleuthing turns up new details of Einstein's personal life."-Publishers Weekly
"Absorbing...What emerges along the way is a vivid impression of the grim landscape into which Einstein cast this innocent."-San Francisco Chronicle
The illegitimate child in Einstein's past did not come to light until more than 30 years after his death, when the first volume of his collected papers finally appeared, in 1987. Still, a mystery remains. What happened to Lieserl?
Zackheim says she decided to pursue the book when she discovered that Einstein, a great icon of her youth in Compton, Calif., had had a child he might have forsaken. "It fascinated me from a psychological point of view," she says. "How did his daughter feel about being abandoned, especially by somebody who was so important to the culture?"
Helped by small grants and loans, Zackheim set off on her five-year quest for Lieserl, crisscrossing Switzerland, Germany, England, Hungary, and especially Serbia. Even while bombs burst, she visited Mileva's ancestral villages, seeking her kin or anyone close to her family, including Serbian Orthodox priests and nuns, and holding many hours of coffee-table conversation, to say nothing of rummaging through countless baptismal records and archives for key documents.
Like Zackheim, most people are slowly discovering that Einstein was not simply the secular saint they grew up with -- the aureole-haired, sock-shunning professor who solved geometry problems for little girls, alerted F.D.R. to the German A-bomb peril and then wept over the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Einstein reshaped our view of the universe. That he was a flawed human being is not only fascinating in a tabloid sort of way but reassuring as well. It makes our heroes, even those of unfathomable genius, seem a little more like us. ---From Time Magazine, October 4th 1999
- Penguin Publishing Group
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- 5.54(w) x 8.26(h) x 1.01(d)
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