“The Other Einstein” By Marie Benedict
Review By Monica Drahonovsky
The author has spent an amazing amount of time researching Mileva Einstein and her three children from her love affair and subsequent marriage to Albert Einstein.
She steps into the mind of Mileva, Mitza, as her family and close friends called her to give us a glimpse of her life and times. Mitza has a loving family, a physical birth defect, and a brain that equals or surpasses the brain of Albert.
Was this the reason he singled her out to be a friend, lover, musician, and a fellow collaborator? Were they really a couple of bohemians?
This book displays her genius in physics and mathematics, and her deep love, affection, and educational helpmate to Albert. The marriage becomes servitude. Her love for him diminishes through the years. Madame Marie Curie becomes a surrogate teacher of self-esteem, and Mileva’s children become her anchor.
What we learn is more about her marriage than about who had the first thoughts of relativity, who is the better physicist, who arranged the experiments and kept track of the outcomes. We end up knowing who is better at parenting.
This book was so interesting. We catch a glimpse of the time in late 1800s and early 1900s when women did not seek out higher education. It is a time for “men only” in their quest to find the “meaning” of the universe.
Mitza had three children by Albert Einstein. The first either died or was given up for adoption. This is a major question not to be answered in this book. They also had two sons. The times in Europe were fast changing and the not-so-subtle anti-Semitism is also showcased in this book.
The author researched deeply to find out about the life and thoughts of Mitza.
How she handled the ever-changing world of her emotions, her children, and her help to Albert during their courtship and marriage is engrossing. There is happiness, glee, anger, self-deprecation, sadness and lots of tears.
If you want to learn about this young girl’s march into a woman’s life and love, please read this book. One of the most important lessons learned was that I am a person first and should never give up my singularity even during marriage and parenting.
We love in marriage because of friendship and partnership. We love in parenting knowing that we raise children to let them go and have their own life. Too many young women do not understand these important lessons.
This book is available at your local library and with a free library card you could find yourself reading this wonderful book.
Monica Reads is InDepthNH.org’s latest column. It is written by Monica Drahonovsky who is known for her love of history and her lifelong love for reading. She has a bachelor’s degree in History, with a minor in English, along with teaching credentials. “My years of reading for leisure and pleasure have given me the insight to read a book and analyze the author’s baggage, cargo and ability to write the language of his/her mind and utilize the gift of prose to educate and entertain the reader. Go get a book, read it and enjoy the adventure.” Contact Monica at firstname.lastname@example.org.