'Deeply researched and profoundly absorbing . . . Matthew Stanley traces one of the greatest epics of scientific history . . . An amazing story' Michael Frayn, author of Tony Award-winning Copenhagen
In 1916, Arthur Eddington, a war-weary British astronomer, opened a letter written by an obscure German professor named Einstein. The neatly printed equations on the scrap of paper outlined his world-changing theory of general relativity. Until then Einstein's masterpiece of time and space had been trapped behind the physical and ideological lines of battle, unknown.
Einstein's name is now synonymous with 'genius', but it was not an easy road. He spent a decade creating relativity and his ascent to global celebrity owed much to against-the-odds international collaboration, including Eddington's globe-spanning expedition of 1919 - two years before they finally met. We usually think of scientific discovery as a flash of individual inspiration, but here we see it is the result of hard work, gambles and wrong turns.
Einstein's War is a celebration of what science can offer when bigotry and nationalism are defeated. Using previously unknown sources and written like a thriller, it shows relativity being built brick-by-brick in front of us, as it happened 100 years ago.
'Riveting . . . Stanley lets us share the excitement a hundred years later in this entertaining and gripping book. It's a must read if you ever wondered how Einstein became 'Einstein'' Manjit Kumar, author of Quantum
Detailed and readable . . . It is especially revealing about Einstein's scientific work and private life leading up to the momentous events of 1919
A thrilling history of the development of the theory of relativity . . . a superb account of Einstein's and Eddington's spectacularly successful struggles to work and survive under miserable wartime conditions
Impressive . . . Stanley's well-told and impressively readable chronicle delivers a wider, and still relevant, message that how science is performed is inextricable from other aspects of people's lives
He succeeds in wrapping up the global, national and scientific politics of an era in a compelling story of one man's wild theory, lucidly sketched, and its experimental confirmation in the unlikeliest and most exotic circumstances
Few books about events a century ago carry as relevant a message for today's world of resurgent nationalism as does Matthew Stanley's Einstein's War . . . Stanley is a storyteller par excellence...[his] riveting, blow-by-blow account of Einstein's struggle...is an unusually reader-friendly journey into relativity theory . . . Einstein and Eddington would have liked it
An insightful and elegantly written exploration of the impact of war on science in both Britain and Germany