Letters from Einstein


As executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution, Jamila Raqib has worked with legendary political scientist Gene Sharp for more than 15 years. Last year, on a mission to organize decades’ worth of historic documents, she stumbled upon an incredible find in his East Boston home: a box containing correspondence between Albert Einstein and the 25-year-old Sharp, who was in prison at the time for refusing conscription into the Korean War. Written in the last two years of Einstein’s life, the letters show how they grappled with the profound challenges of the twentieth century: war and violence, totalitarianism, the degradation of civil liberties, and attacks on academic freedom. It is evident that the McCarthyism of the era weighed heavily on Einstein’s mind as he offered steadfast support to Sharp and addressed the “conflict between political obligation and moral conscience.” The Letters from Einstein video was produced for the MIT Defiance event in Cambridge MA.

Jamila Raqib and Professor Gerald Holton at the MIT Defiance event.

A delegate reads Einstein's letters to a 25 year-old Gene Sharp

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