GENERAL INTRODUCTION
Albert Einstein
is
the
preeminent physicist
of this
century.
In
a manner com-
parable only
to
Newton
before
him,
he
reshaped our
understanding
of the
physical
universe. He
was
also
a
major public figure,
impelled by
events to
participate
in
and
comment
on many
of the
significant
social and
political
movements
of
his time.
During
Einstein's
lifetime,
the
only
collected edition of
his
writings
to
ap-
pear was a
Japanese
edition of
his scientific works,
published
in 1923.
In the
foreword
he wrote:
[E]s
[hat] stets
einen
eigentümlichen Reiz,
das
Werden der
Theorien
zu verfolgen an
Hand der
Originalabhandlungen;
und
nicht selten verleiht
ein
solches
Studium
einen tieferen
Einblick in
die
Materie als eine durch
die
Arbeit
vieler
Zeitgenossen geglättete
systematische Darstellung
des
fertigen Gegenstandes.
The Collected
Papers
of Albert Einstein
provides
a new
and
comprehensive
resource
for readers interested
in
tracing
the
development
of Einstein's ideas
and activities
through
the
original
documents. This edition
will
present
Einstein's
complete writings
and
correspondence,
and related material
impor-
tant to
understanding
his
work,
his
life,
and
his times.
It
will
combine the
holdings
of the Einstein Archive with material found
as
the result of further
searches.
The Archive
originally
consisted
of the
papers
left
by
Einstein
in
the
care
of the Trustees of
his
Estate,
Dr. Otto Nathan and Miss Helen
Dukas,
who
devoted themselves
tirelessly
for
a
quarter
of
a
century
to
organizing
the
con-
tents
and
to
adding
new
material. Einstein made
no
systematic attempt
to
preserve
his
papers
before
about
1920.
Prior
to
that
time,
he
routinely
dis-
carded
manuscripts
of
published
articles,
and
very
few
have been
preserved.
Einstein saved
few
letters addressed
to
him, though, fortunately, many
of
his
correspondents kept
the letters
they
received.
Only
a
handful of
early
note-
books,
containing
lecture and research
notes,
have survived.
After
Einstein's dramatic
rise to
prominence
at
the end of
1919,
his
step-
daughter Ilse,
the first
of
his
secretarial
assistants,
began
to
help
him with
his
vastly
increased
correspondence.
The earliest evidence of Einstein's
concern
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