Book of the Week  


The Theory of Relativity
by David Anderson


A Review by Gregory J. Mallon




BOOK OF THE WEEK - The Theory of Relativity

When I bought my first edition of Einstein's Relativity (on the internet), I received a nice surprise when I opened it up.   The seller, a nice gentleman, had told me there was some old newspaper pasted to the inside of the back of the book - but he wasn't sure how old it was or what it was about.  He wasn't even sure if he had put it there.   He just had not looked at the book in quite a long time, but decided to sell it, knowing it was a first edition and worth more than an "old copy" of Relativity.   I had figured the newspaper would detract quite a bit from the value of the book.  There are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. 1.  First, you would ideally like your 1st edition to be as "original" as possible, as close to "mint condition" as possible.
  2. 2.  Newspaper in general, especially older newspaper is very "acidic".  The acid turns that familiar brown color over time.  When it is "in contact" with the book itself, it will transfer this acidity to the book and cause damage, mostly discoloration.
  3. 3.  Since it was pasted to the book, the glue used, whatever it might be, is likely also acidic and would cause it's own damage.

A Unique Piece of History?

As it turns out, the newspaper was way more than a random clipping.  It turned out to be what might be a unique piece of history.  While I still need to do some research, I'll explain what I know so far:

  1. 1.  The paper is a Book Review from 1921, just after the release of Einstein's first American edition of "Relativity".
  2. 2.  The review article was likely written by the same guy that first owned the book, Mr. David Anderson.
    1. a) While the article does not show the name of the author, it does end with the initials, "-DA".
    2. b) The bookplate in the front of the book indicates it was owned by a "David Anderson".
  3. 4.  The bookplate design indicates that the owner was likely a scientist or physicist of some sort.
  4. 5.  This is where it gets interesting... The winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the "Graviton" is a Mr. Carl David Anderson.
  5. 6.  The son of Carl David Anderson's is named David Anderson (-DA).

It seems "likely" that the owner of the book, David Anderson, was the same guy who wrote this review of "The Theory of Relativity".

 - David Anderson, Estimated 1921-1922