The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict

I grew up with this image of Einstein. Him as a funny little character, hair askew, science bubbling around the corners of his mouth as though the intellect possessed him as rabies to a body. He was positively seen as the fool of the science field, the one that revolutionized the world. Everyone knows the name Einstein, before they even known the person, they know the name like it swims in the air. Even a toddler could tell you that E=mc^2, even if they don’t know what E is or how to solve the equation.He became a household name, in his own time and for future generations. Because, who can really forget the Einstein bobble-heads in The Night At the Museum: Smithsonian?

But the name I never knew was Mileva Maríc, Einstein’s former wife. The truly talented scientist behind the world-renowned name, I never knew existed until this book. This strong female in a male only industry, not a male dominated one, traveled through continents to receive her education and she was lost in shadows of fame and time.

I am incredibly grateful to this book for two reasons. The first being that I learned of this incredible women. The obstacles she faced would make most cower and flee just by the sight of them. Although many of the men around her would have preferred her to be feeble and delicate, she raises her skirts and her eyes when challenged. She held steady knowing that was smart and dedicated to her craft.

So for that reason, I am incredibly grateful to have read this story. That it was even made, to be an example for the young girls in the world who are fighting to make their own space in their chosen industries for themselves. Milvea Maríc is an example for all the young girls in the world, to trust themselves, to believe in their intellect, and to fight for what they want.

She is also an example that strength is a timeless muscle. Even when not used for years, ignored and resting, it can come from within whenever needed. After being used and abused, taken for granted and belittled, Mileva Maríc rose up from her horrible marriage to Einstein to raise two impressive sons and teach generations of girls the art of science.

It is the duty of feminists everywhere to analyze the men around us, whether that be in this time, in the past or in tomorrows time, there needs to be some sort of strict regulation and expectation for what is acceptable and what is not. And, Mr. Einstein, I’m sorry to inform you, you are by no means acceptable. Since you live in such infamy, this information should be spread with your name, attached at the end, hooked to your ‘n’, Mr. Einstein the potential genius and definite asshole. The man who promised Mileva the freedom to do as her mind created, the equality to respect it, and the world as she wanted it.What she got, was none of that. Mr. Einstein, your name should be known as that, not the bobble-head or the equation, but the example of what men and people should never be.

 

marie-benedict_3_origAnd for that reason, I am also so thankful to Marie Benedict for writing this book. Not only was this my first exposure to Benedict as an author, it was also her first published book. The Other Einstein was originally published in 2016. More recently, as of 2018, Benedict published Carnegie’s Maid and just a month ago, January 2019, Benedict published The Only Woman in the Room about the hidden intellect of film star Hedy Lamar. I can only say that after reading The Other Einstein, and being incredibly disturbed by this historical figure I thought of like the goofy grandpa of science, I look forward to delving back into more of Benedict’s world and learning more about the women hidden in shadows and times.

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