“DRIVING MR. ALBERT – A trip across America with Einstein’s Brain”
By Michael Paterniti
If you wonder what this book could possibly be about, read the title again. The author tells his tale of driving coast to coast with Albert Einstein’s brain in the trunk. I first read this book in 2000 and thought surely it was fiction, but upon researching the subject I learned that it is a true story of what happened to Einstein’s brain in the forty or so years following his autopsy. The brain was stolen and kept all that time in a cookie jar by the pathologist on duty at Princeton University Hospital when the world celebrated genius died there in 1955.
Re-reading the book recently was just as much fun as the first time. Both the author and his passenger, Dr. Thomas S. Harvey, are multifaceted characters and their relationship evolves in a complex manner during their time together in the car. As for their cargo, it really is the main character and it brings this pair together with a variety of interesting scientists and others along the way.
This book told me many things that I did not know about Albert Einstein, his life, his struggles, and his accomplishments. I now also know much more about his brain than I ever could, had I not read “Driving Mr. Albert.” It is a quick and easy read in spite of being about a physicist who changed the world of science.
“Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” Albert Einstein