OVERRIDE

The Einstein File

J. Edgar Hoover's Secret War Against the World's Most Famous Scientist

Fred Jerome

St. Martin's Griffin

From the moment Albert Einstein arrived in the United States in 1933, the year of the Nazis' ascent to power in Germany, until his death in 1955, J. Edgar Hoover's FBI, assisted by several other federal agencies, began feverishly collecting "derogatory information" in an effort to undermine the renowned physicist's influence and destroy his reputation. For the first time, Fred Jerome tells the complete story of this anti-Einstein campaign, explains why and how the campaign originated, and provides the first detailed picture of Einstein's little-known political activism.

Despite the popular image of Einstein as an absentminded, head-in-the-clouds genius, he was in fact intensely interested in matters of the larger society and felt it was his duty to use his worldwide fame to help advance the cause of social justice. Einstein was a fervent pacifist, socialist, internationalist, and an outspoken critic of racism (he considered racism America's "worst disease"), as well as a friend of celebrated African Americans Paul Robeson and W. E. B. Du Bois. As this in-depth study reveals, Einstein dared to use his immense prestige to denounce Joseph McCarthy at the height of the feared senator's power, and publicly urged witnesses to refuse to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).

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Praise for The Einstein File

"A highly readable book---investigative journalism that qualifies as academic history. It is also scary."
---Harper's Magazine

"The Einstein File is a frightening look at a dark past, hopefully gone forever. It also reestablishes Einstein as a committed social activist, antiracist, antiwar critic of capitalism, whose daring extended beyond mathematics."
---Julian Bond, NAACP Chairman

"Meticulously researched and beautifully written, The Einstein File details a bleak chapter in this nation's history, when a rogue elephant FBI rode roughshod over civil liberties, including the rights and privacy of one of the world's great scientists. As the "war on terrorism" begins to resemble the "war on communism," Fred Jerome's highly informative book sounds a profoundly cautionary note."
---Gerald Horne, author of Race Woman: The Lives of Shirley Graham Du Bois

"A well-written, provocative book that could---and should---alter the ways Hoover and Einstein are viewed."
---Denver Post

"Vivid and engrossing.... Everybody interested in American history should read it."
---Frederic Golden, former science editor of Time

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Fred Jerome

  • Fred Jerome is senior consultant to the Gene Media Forum, Newhouse School of Communications, Syracuse University. His articles and op-ed pieces have appeared in many publications including Newsweek and the New York Times. As a reporter in the South during the early 1960s, he covered the exploding Civil Rights movement, and has taught journalism at Columbia and New York University. He is currently teaching a course at The New School titled "Scientists and Rebels." He invented the Media Resource Service in 1980, a widely acclaimed telephone referral service putting thousands of journalists in touch with scientists.
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    The Einstein File

    J. Edgar Hoover's Secret War Against the World's Most Famous Scientist

    Fred Jerome

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