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and early 1916, but also his 1917 popular book on the theory of relativity and the
Princeton lectures that were delivered in May 1921. In addition to his publications,
the series presents a number of unpublished manuscripts, lecture notes, and calcu-
lations that document Einstein’s work and thinking.
World War I marks the beginning of Einstein’s public interventions in political,
social, and humanitarian matters, pacifism, and Zionist causes, documented in an
increasing number of nonscientific writings after 1918, as well as in his correspon-
dence. Einstein’s correspondence also documents his intellectual biography. Start-
ing with early family correspondence and letters to his fellow student and future
wife, Mileva Maric;, the topics contained in the letters progress to the more intense
professional and scientific exchanges with physicists, mathematicians, astrono-
mers, engineers, and science administrators that illuminate his career path from a
position at the Swiss Patent Office, his doctorate in 1905 and his habilitation in
1908, to his faculty appointments in Zurich, Prague, Berlin and Leyden, as well as
his many publications, lectures, honors, and prizes. The observational confirmation
of the predicted gravitational light bending during the solar eclipse of May 1919
initiates Einstein’s rise to international fame.
Throughout the first ten volumes, the original editorial method established for the
series was largely adhered to, modified or supplemented in light of new material
and information, unforeseen or unavailable more than twenty years ago. Items dis-
covered after the publication of a given CPAE volume to which they would proper-
ly belong in chronological order were published as soon as they came to the
editors’ attention at the beginning of a subsequent volume. Volume 10, in particu-
lar, presents 211 supplementary letters to the correspondence already published in
Volumes 5, 8, and 9. Most of these items came from the estate of Margot Einstein
(1899–1986), who stipulated that the material remain closed until twenty years
after her death.
All of Einstein’s published and unpublished writings, to the extent that they can
be dated, are included in the series. However, in view of the large amount of extant
correspondence from Einstein’s later years containing an increasing number of
routine financial and administrative correspondence, the editors of Volume 8
introduced a “policy of prudent selectivity.” The editors of Volumes 9 and 10 have
imposed increasing selectivity criteria, such that these volumes only present those
letters to and from Einstein that were deemed significant to a proper understanding
of his life and work.
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