Letters and Politics

The History of Fractured Political Parties in the US. And Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity

with Julia Azari, Associate Professor of Political Science and Assistant Chair, Department of Political Science at Marquette University, author of the book Delivering the People’s Message: The Changing Politics of the Presidential Mandate and the recent FiveThirtyEight article “When Political Parties Splinter“.


John Gribbin, an astrophysicist and Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge and author of the book “Einstein’s Masterwork: 1915 and the General Theory of Relativity”.

About the book:

john-gribin_eistein-masterworkIn 1915, Albert Einstein presented his masterwork to the Prussian Academy of Sciences―a theory of gravity, matter, space and time: the General Theory of Relativity. Einste
in himself said it was “the most valuable theory of my life,” and “of incomparable beauty.” It describes the evolution of the universe, black holes, the behavior of orbiting neutron stars, and why clocks run slower on the surface of the earth than in space. It even suggests the possibility of time travel.

And yet when we think of Einstein’s breakthrough year, we think instead of 1905, the year of Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity and his equation E=mc2, as his annus mirabilis, even though the Special Theory has a narrower focus. Today the General Theory is overshadowed by these achievements, regarded as ‘too difficult’ for ordinary mortals to comprehend. In Einstein’s Masterwork, John Gribbin puts Einstein’s astonishing breakthrough in the context of his life and work, and makes it clear why his greatest year was indeed 1915 and his General Theory his true masterpiece.

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