Irresistible

[ Sat. Jul. 22. 2006 ]

My Einstein: Essays by 24 of the World's Leading Thinkers, edited by John Brockman (Pantheon, 261 pages, $25). Now that jokes about Einstein's appeal to the opposite sex have become Letterman monologue staples (as if it were news that genius might not preclude other more sanguine enthusiasms) we can see that in the year following the centennial of his most ground-breaking work, Albert Einstein's remains our culture's folk paradigm of genius. (Newton, his predecessor was, by comparison, magnificently eloquent but pugnacious and almost no fun at all — a prig who needed falling apples to humanize him.)

These essays are irresistible ... the charm of the book is that its often star-struck writers so freely wanted to be connected to entirely non-theoretical humanity, their own and Einstein's.

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