...Walter Isaacson’s “Einstein”: Einstein had moved to Princeton in 1933 and remained there until his death in 1955. During the 30’s, he was world famous, beloved, quirky and kind. To my surprise, in a section called Prewar Politics, the author writes the following on page 445.
“A survey of incoming freshmen in 1938 produced a result that is now astonishing, and should have been back then as well; Adolf Hitler polled highest as the “greatest living person.” Albert Einstein was second.”
This passage had a footnote which I followed to the back of the book. Here is the footnote:
“Hitler Is ‘Greatest’ in Princton Poll: Freshmen Put Einstein Second and Chamberlain Third,” New York Times, Nov 28, 1939. The story reports that this was for the second year in a row.”
Simply food for thought and a possible worthwhile rejoinder when discussion turns to the perceptions held by our best and our brightest of the ‘coolest’ Politician of the day."