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\'Beware of Rotten Compromises\': The Moral Foundations of Einstein’s Politics

Recording Details

Speaker(s): 
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PIRSA Number: 
05100023

Abstract

Morality defined Albert Einstein’s sense of social obligation and political justice. It thrust on him a lifelong sense of responsibility for the defenceless and the underprivileged. At the same time, his jealously guarded independence dictated a kind of splendid isolation that made him indifferent to the temptations of political influence. How did this sense of commitment arise? What were the sources of his fierce independence? How did he resolve the contradiction? This talk will explore the roots in Einstein’s childhood, youth, and early professional career, covering the years from the early 1880s until 1919 when he burst onto the world stage. Robert Schulmann, politics, biography, Einstein, religion, Judaism, Jew, Zionist