The Other Einstein

The Other Einstein

A Novel

eBook - 2016
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In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe , The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein's enormous shadow. It is the story of Einstein's wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight. Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most twenty-year-olds are wives by now, not studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. But Mitza is smart enough to know that, for her, math is an easier path than marriage. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Sourcebooks, [2016]
ISBN: 9781492637264
Branch Call Number: FICTION Ben
Description: 1 online resource (304 pages)
Additional Contributors: Freading (Firm)

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CRRL_MegRaymond Mar 01, 2018

Mileva Meric was a brilliant physics student at a Zurich University. Her studies were sidelined when she fell in love with fellow student, Albert Einstein.

Einstein's wife was a brilliant physicist in her own right. Also available as an eBook and on audio CD.


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jstalmer
Apr 27, 2018

I enjoyed reading this story because it's specific yet universal. The words used to tell this story may not have been poetic, but the feeling I had after reading it was.

I've had a special fondness for Einstein for as long as I can recall. I was enamored with his philosophy long before his science. So while I was excited to read this book, I didn't look forward to a "me too" narrative about Einstein.

Having said that, I have always been curious to know more about women in history, as they have mostly been treated as side dishes to the main course of the men in their lives.

The book starts with Mileva's (future Mrs. Einstein) first day of her education at a university in Zurich where she first meets her classmate, Albert Einstein. They both had selected to attend one of the few universities in Europe that granted women degrees.

The story is told from the first person so it has the feeling of being there versus looking back.

There was something wonderful about reading about a woman going against convention, though as she meets Einstein, just another student, we are reminded that for all her smarts and courage to rage against the machine, she will be relegated to the fate of a second class citizen and the back seat of history, forever overshadowed by her famous husband.

Having said that, I relished Einstein showing up in the book as I've always felt he was a kindred spirit.

As the story moved along, it was disturbing how sidelined she was in her husband's meteoric rise. It's believable that she may have had something to do with Einstein's discoveries. It's also believable that the work would not have been taken seriously with a woman's name attached. Even Mary Shelly's famous tale was thought to be the work of a man because it was unthinkable that a woman could have written it. Even today, she has the qualifier "woman" in front of her accomplishments.

One could almost wonder if Einstein hadn't married her, if he would have had his breakthrough. We know he partnered with other mathematicians so it's feasible that she would have at minimum helped him there. It's also feasible she had ideas and at minimum may have had a significant impact on his thought experiments. Or his whole talk of thought experiments could have been a cover for not being able to show his work.

I revere Einstein and I know this is a novel and not a biography, yet I thought it important to step into the protagonist's shoes. There was nothing that seemed impossible but there are some things we'll never know for sure. There is no mistake Einstein was a genius, but is it so hard to believe that she was too? Is it even harder to believe she might have been more of a genius than him? I'm not saying she was, but what if? What if she coauthored his important papers, the ones that made him world famous, only to be edited out of history? Though let's say it was all her, if she had submitted anything for publication she likely would have been challenged and it would have been assumed that she couldn't have discovered anything for no other reason but that she was a woman.

In the end, the loss feels huge. She was marking her own path and gave that up for a man. Though, to find a partner that you could share your passion with has to be wonderful. I felt sad for what might have been but who knows, I mean, the hurdles any woman in a man's world would have to jump through, just to be treated unequally, were - and still are sometimes - brutal.

I still adore Einstein, but this story is a sober reminder that no one is without flaws and we shouldn't expect anyone to be. Einstein was a genius but he was also just a man in a man's world likely with misogynistic tendencies like most men of his time and still too many today.

m
MHanover10
Apr 13, 2018

This is about Mileva Maric, the only female to study physics at Polytechnic University in Zurich. Women at university just wasn't a thing back then. Her father had to petition to get her into the program. This is where she met Albert Einstein. We learn that it was her idea about the theory of relativity yet she didn't get credit for any of the collaborations she had with Albert. She should have been the one to win the Noble Peace Prize. She never got the acknowledgement for how much she contributed to his papers. He was a selfish man and I believe he was jealous of Mileva that she seemed to have been a better physicists than him. Too bad she wasn't born later when she probably would have received the acknowledgements she deserved. Marie Benedict does a great job of bringing these characters to life and shining a light on Mileva's life and her struggles.

AL_KATHY Mar 29, 2018

One of my all time favorite books.

o
orange_lobster_23
Mar 16, 2018

This fictionalized version of Mileva's and Albert's Einsteins life together is a good read. women Certainly the sacrifices women had to endure, academically, professionally
expectation wise, as well as having few economic choices is totally credible. Any devoted listener to Science Friday has heard the plethora of stories of women being dissuaded and
unrecognized in STEM fields. Mileva's role in conceptualizing the theory of relativity is
disputed. This book inspires reading of Walter Isaacson's Einstein biography.

CRRL_MegRaymond Mar 01, 2018

Mileva Meric was a brilliant physics student at a Zurich University. Her studies were sidelined when she fell in love with fellow student, Albert Einstein.

w
writermala
Jan 20, 2018

If like me you are a fan of Einstein and think the world of him and his discovery, this book is likely to make you think again. The book is billed as a novel and tells the story of Albert Einstein from his wife Mileva's perspective. By the time i was done reading the book I was prepared to hate Einstein for stealing Mileva's ideas, not giving her credit,and abusing her to boot. Doubts lingered since it was after all a novel but the Author's Note at the end states that there is a good basis for the story. If even a part of it is true, Mileva Maric has been a pioneer of Science education for girls and women.It is because of women like her and Marie Curie that today women do not have to choose between family and career.

Mayflower94 Aug 31, 2017

This historical fiction is written from Einstein's first wife Mileva's perspective, based on the newly discovered letters between the Einsteins. It offers us a glimpse into the domestic side, even petty side of Albert Einstein.

d
dixieboggs
Aug 28, 2017

There were no references in this book other than the "author's brief notes". The author notes that Mileva Einstein's involvement with Albert Einstein's work was debated in the physics world. Also, there were letters written between Mileva & Albert which were discovered in 1980. The letters discussed projects Mileva & Albert worked on together, but the letters did not clarify the extent of Mileva's involvement. Personally, I felt this book was pure fiction (no references to offer credibility to the author - Marie Benedict.) I plan to read "Einstein's biography by the author Walter Isaacson" possibly Isaacson will present references, facts, and a more realistic view of the life of Albert & Mileva Einstein. Of course the book is a Novel - pure fiction.

m
m0mmyl00
May 01, 2017

Milena won a rare place for a woman in the early 1900s as a physics student at a university in Zurich. She committed herself to forgoing the tradition sources of happiness and security -- husband and family -- in favor of a life devoted to science. Then she met Albert, a fellow student. After several years of fairly gentlemanly, if a little unorthodox, and persistent pursuit, he persuaded her to declare her love for him. Together they would revolutionize the scientific world. As a scientist, he was next to none; as a human being, he left something to be desired. When Milana became pregnant, he was interested only insofar as to insist that the baby girl be hidden lest her existence outside of marriage jeopardize his job in a patent office. But he missed Milena and talked her into joining him and leaving her baby' with her mother. In a year and a half, they never visited their child. Milena's mother summoned her when the little girl was 18 months old because she was gravely ill with scarlet fever. She ended up dying (at least Milena went to see her then). Albert couldn't understand why Milena was so sad.

As a further betrayal, Albert claimed sole credit for their scientific papers, even after he promised to share the credit 50/50 with her. Finally, Milena found a letter from his cousin Elsa in which their love was mentioned. Milena couldn't forgive him for these betrayals, but wanted to maintain the marriage for the sake of their two sons. He drew up an insulting and degrading list of demands spelling out the conditions under which he would agree to stay with her, i.e., she would do his laundry and keep his room and office clean, but was not to expect him to spend time with her in the evenings; she would stop talking to him when he asked; etc. Milena realized unhappily that she already adhered to most of his demeaning rules.

In the end, they divorced and Albert married Elsa.

This book was not really historical enough to be considered historical fiction, as it was based on controversial conjecture stirred up by the recent discovery of Albert's letters. There is not a consensus that Milena helped Albert with any of his scientific work or that their daughter died. In addition, the writing was pedestrian, the dialogue unbelievable, and her inner dialogue stilted and unrealistic. Beauty it was interesting to see how women were treated and how they treated themselves in that place and time. They were trapped by societal norms and expectations, and had not yet come to realize that they themselves acted as their own imprisoners.

The book spurred me to do a little additional internet research on the Einsteins, but it was only a passable read.

h
haileyj
Mar 05, 2017

Although I had previously read about Mileva Einstein's possible contribution to the great work by Albert Einstein, this novel came at it from a slightly different perspective. It makes that possibility seem even more likely. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and only wished that Mileva hadn't allowed herself to be pushed to the side as much as she was. Obviously that was how women were treated in that era though we note that Marie Curie was recognized for her contributions to science at the same time. Perhaps she had a more modern husband? Albert Einstein came across as narcissistic and egocentric which was likely what he really was.

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thai
Sep 27, 2017

Other: Masquerades as researched - beware this is fiction!

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