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Mondial Summer 2020: Book notice

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Albert Einstein from Pacifism to the Idea of World Government

Lucio Levi, editor (Federalism Volume 12; Centro Studi sul Federalismo)

Peter Lang, Brussels, 2020

“Albert Einstein from Pacifism to the Idea of World Government” is a collection of articles that explores the development of Albert Einstein’s thoughts on such overlapping topics as the causes of war and how to prevent it and the differences between antimilitarism and pacifism as well as internationalism and federalism.

As Giampiero Bordino writes in the forward, “In a world increasingly characterized by opportunistic, culturally and humanly inadequate political leaderships, Einstein’s reflection on peace and war, and in particular on nuclear war, should be re-proposed and spread out, not only among intellectuals, but among the political classes and leaders, and among all the citizens of Europe and the world.”

Specific topics included in the collection cover Einstein as a global intellectual, the letters on the abolition of war exchanged between Einstein and Freud, different perspectives on Einstein’s thoughts on pacifism, an overview of Einstein’s evolving thoughts on federalism, and personal recollections of Einstein’s time at Princeton.

In addition to the articles, a series of annexes include excerpts from relevant articles and letters written by Einstein including open letters to the UN General Assembly and a letter to Franklin Roosevelt.

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