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The French political philosopher Raymond Aron once observed that the twentieth century "could have been Germany's century." In 1900, the country was Europe's preeminent power, its material strength and strident militaristic ethos apparently balanced by a vital culture and extraordinary scientific achievement. It was poised to achieve greatness. In Einstein's German World, the eminent historian Fritz Stern explores the ambiguous promise of Germany before Hitler, as well as its horrifying decline into moral nihilism under Nazi rule, and aspects of its remarkable recovery since World War II. He does so by gracefully blending history and biography in a sequence of finely drawn studies of Germany's great scientists and of German-Jewish relations before and during Hitler's regime.
Stern's central chapter traces the complex friendship of Albert Einstein and the Nobel Prize-winning chemist Fritz Haber, contrasting their responses to German life and to their Jewish heritage. Haber, a convert to Christianity and a firm German patriot until the rise of the Nazis; Einstein, a committed internationalist and pacifist, and a proud though secular Jew. Other chapters, also based on new archival sources, consider the turbulent and interrelated careers of the physicist Max Planck, an austere and powerful figure who helped to make Berlin a happy, productive place for Einstein and other legendary scientists; of Paul Ehrlich, the founder of chemotherapy; of Walther Rathenau, the German-Jewish industrialist and statesman tragically assassinated in 1922; and of Chaim Weizmann, chemist, Zionist, and first president of Israel, whose close relations with his German colleagues is here for the first time recounted. Stern examines the still controversial way that historians have dealt with World War I and Germans have dealt with their nation's defeat, and he analyzes the conflicts over the interpretations of Germany's past that persist to this day. He also writes movingly about the psychic cost of Germany's reunification in 1990, the reconciliation between Germany and Poland, and the challenges and prospects facing Germany today.
At once historical and personal, provocative and accessible, Einstein's German World illuminates the issues that made Germany's and Europe's past and present so important in a tumultuous century of creativity and violence.
Rezension: Albert Einstein was, it has seemed to some scholars, a genius sui generis, a man who transcended his own time and native country to become a citizen of the world. Fritz Stern is not among their ranks. A retired professor of history at Columbia University, Stern here offers a set of essays on the cultural milieu of late 19th- and early 20th-century Germany, and more specifically of the brilliant culture of German Jews, many of whom had, like Einstein, been largely assimilated into the surrounding culture in what Stern calls "an astounding ascendancy" but who were forced by separatist laws to accept second-class status. Chaim Weizmann, a chemist of Einstein's generation who founded modern Zionism, knew this well; when one of his teachers assured him that Germans would give up their anti-Semitism once they realized how much Jews had contributed to their prosperity and their rich culture, Weizmann replied, " Herr Doktor, if a man has a piece of something in his eye, he doesn't want to know whether it's a piece of mud or a piece of gold. He just wants to get it out."
The intellectuals of Albert Einstein's generation spun gold, Stern shows. Their number included Paul Ehrlich, the inventor of chemotherapy; Walther Rathenau, a captain of industry with an informed love of literature and music; and Fritz Haber, a physicist who discovered a means of fixing nitrogen from the air. All were swept away, murdered or sent into exile, by the events of the 1920s and '30s. Surveying the ruins of World War II, the French philosopher Raymond Aron remarked to Stern, "It could have been Germany's century"--if only, that is, Germany had not succumbed to the madness of national socialism. Fritz Stern's careful essays show just how much Germany, and the world, lost when it did. --Gregory McNamee
Buchbeschreibung Princeton University Press, 2001. Buchzustand: Good. N/A. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Buchnummer des Verkäufers GRP13139042
Buchbeschreibung Princeton University Press. Hardcover. Buchzustand: GOOD. book was well loved but cared for. Possible ex-library copy with all the usual markings and stickers. Some light textual notes, highlighting and underling. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 2729131015
Buchbeschreibung Princeton University Press. Hardcover. Buchzustand: Fair. Buchnummer des Verkäufers G069105939XI5N00
Buchbeschreibung Princeton University Press. Buchzustand: Acceptable. Hardcover acceptable The item is fairly worn but still readable. Signs of wear include aesthetic issues such as scratches, worn covers, damaged binding. The item may have identifying markings on it or show other signs of previous use. May have page creases, creased spine, bent cover or markings inside. Packed with care, shipped promptly. Buchnummer des Verkäufers I-07-0179
Buchbeschreibung Princeton, 1999. Hard Cover. Buchzustand: Very Good. Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Very Good. First Edition. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾". Ex-library copy with all the usual flaws, stamps, markings, dustjacket glued to pastedowns. Notes, index, 335 pp. Text clean & tight. Ex-Library. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 015536
Buchbeschreibung Princeton University Press, 1999. Hardcover. Buchzustand: Used: Good. Buchnummer des Verkäufers SONG069105939X
Buchbeschreibung Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1999. Cloth. Buchzustand: Very Good-. No Jacket. First Edition. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. (x), 335pp. Only a touch of wear to exterior. No dust-jacket. A nice, clean, tight copy. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 018883
Buchbeschreibung Princeton University Press, Ewing, New Jersey, U.S.A., 1999. Hardcover. Buchzustand: Good. Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Very Good. 069105939X 1999 tight hardcover withdrawn library interior clean. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 043173
Buchbeschreibung Princeton Univ Pr, Ewing, New Jersey, U.S.A., 1999. Hardcover. Buchzustand: Very Good. Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Very Good. 335 pages. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 067231
Buchbeschreibung Buchzustand: Good. Book Condition: Good. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 97806910593964.0