|About the Book|
For nearly a quarter century, from Einsteins arrival in the United States in 1933 until his death in 1955, Hoovers FBI, with help from several other federal agencies, collected more than 1800 pages of derogatory information in an effort toMoreFor nearly a quarter century, from Einsteins arrival in the United States in 1933 until his death in 1955, Hoovers FBI, with help from several other federal agencies, collected more than 1800 pages of derogatory information in an effort to undermine Einsteins influence and destroy his prestige. The governments most intensive effort came in the early 1950s at the height of McCarthyism and Americas Red-scare. The Einstein File is the story of that anti-Einstein campaign, but also the story behind it -- the why of the campaign -- providing the first detailed picture of Einsteins little-known political beliefs and activities. A passionate pacifist, socialist, internationalist and outspoken critic of racism, Einstein used his worldwide prestige to denounce McCarthys congressional hearings, publicly urging witnesses to refuse to testify. The book braids historical events and excerpts from the FBIs Einstein dossier with a story of international intrigue and espionage. For besides abhorring Einsteins politics - and because he abhorred them -- Hoover attempted, for five years, to link Einstein to a Soviet spy ring, which necessarily becomes a profile of Einsteins quite extraordinary, and unusually over-looked, career as a political activist. (Fifty years later, at least a few of Hoovers supporters continue to pursue the spy charges.) Although the FBI had released parts of its Einstein dossier in 1983, Fred Jerome was able to obtain hundreds of pages previously withheld or blacked out by the Bureaus censors for security reasons, pages which reveal, among other things, the extent to which Hoover and his agents went in collecting information on Einstein and hisfriends and colleagues -- monitoring their phone calls, opening their mail, rummaging through their garbage and even surreptitiously breaking into and searching residences.