Tag Archives: michael paterniti

Driving Mr. Albert by Michael Paterniti

Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein’s Brain by Michael Paterniti: When Dr. Thomas Stoltz Harvey autopsied Albert Einstein in 1955, he removed the great scientist’s brain, though whether he had the family’s permission to do so remains in doubt. Either way, he kept the brain in his house, in a couple of cookie jars. When Paterniti learned of this, he sought out the elusive pathologist. When Harvey mentions his intentions of giving part of the brain to Einstein’s niece Evelyn in California, Paterniti offers to drive him. Not quite as much of a romp as I’d hoped. I found myself a little nauseated every time he described the brain itself, which was in pieces, floating in formaldehyde. It doesn’t help that Paterniti seems to want to present the brain as a sort of religious relic, but often falls short. The main draw for me was the opportunity for a vicarious cross-country road trip. Unfortunately, Paterniti and Harvey don’t make for very interesting company.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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