SIGNED BY EINSTEIN: FIRST EDITION OF THE EVOLUTION OF PHYSICS
EINSTEIN, Albert, and INFELD, Leopold. The Evolution of Physics. The Growth of Ideas from Early Concepts to Relativity and Quanta. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1938. Octavo, original blue cloth, original dust jacket retained, with an additional first-issue dust jacket added. $19,000.
Third printing, signed by Albert Einstein, praised on publication as "masterly."
Albert Einstein saw Evolution of Physics as a means of emphasizing "his realist approach" and further used "the text to defend the utility of field theories amid the advances of quantum mechanics… There was a third reason that Einstein helped to write this textbook, a more personal one. He wanted to help Leopold Infeld, a Jew who had fled Poland, collaborated briefly in Cambridge with Max Born, and then moved to Princeton." When Infeld timidly approached Einstein with the idea of writing a history of physics, he was barely "able to stammer out his proposal. 'This is not at all a stupid idea,' Einstein said. 'Not stupid at all. We shall do it'" (Issacson, 463-5). On publication The Saturday Review of Literature praised Evolution of Physics as "masterly… Einstein and Infeld's book should do much to spread an understanding and appreciation one of the great dramas in the evolution of human thought." With three full-page and numerous in-text illustrations and diagrams. "Third printing" stated on copyright page. With original dust jacket with early reviews on the rear panel; a nicer first-issued dust jacket (with "From the Author's Introduction" on the rear panel) has also been added, while the original dust jacket has also been retained. Boni et al. 235.
Book near-fine. Original dust jacket split at rear flap fold (rear flap present) with edge-wear and chip to head of spine affecting title. Added first-issue dust jacket with shallow edge-wear and a few closed tears, very good. Scarce and desirable signed.