The Age Of Einstein

He became, almost despite himself, the emblem of all that was new, original and unsettling in the modern age

For Einstein to become a modern icon, especially in America, required a total revision of the definition of a hero. Anti-intellectualism has been as integral a part of American culture as the drive for universal education, and the fact that both have existed concurrently may account for the low status of teachers. In America it is not enough to be smart; one must compensate for one's intelligence by also showing the canniness and real-world power of the cowboy and the pioneer. Einstein did this. He was the first modern intellectual superstar, and he won his stardom in the only way that...

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