There is an old saying:
“Behind every great man there is a great woman”
The issue with this statement (at least from my perspective) is that while a man is pushed to succeed and accomplish his goals, a woman is encouraged to put her dreams and aspirations aside to support her man.
Mileva Marić had as much potential to succeed in the world of science and math as her husband, Albert Einstein. But because she was a woman and he was a man, she put her ambitions aside to support his ambitions. Their story is told in the new book, The Other Einstein, by Marie Benedict. Mileva (or Mitza as she was known to her loved ones) met her future husband at University. As the only female student in her program, Mileva worked hard to earn the respect of her teachers and classmates. While Mileva was putting everything she had into earning her degree, Albert was not really putting in the effort. He was the kind of student a teacher might describe as having potential, if he was was willing to do the work to see that potential become reality.
They marry after Albert graduates and for a while, it seems like a solid and happy marriage. But as Albert’s fame and success grows, his marriage to Mileva is slowly shifting to shaky ground. Will their marriage last or will his fame break up what once appeared to be a perfect relationship?
I really loved this book. I loved it because it introduced me to a side of a legend that I had not known before. And frankly, it was a side that I didn’t like at certain points in the book. I also loved it because Ms. Benedict gave a voice to a woman who should have been able to succeed in her chosen field, but didn’t because of the era she lived in. It was a reminder to me that I shouldn’t take the educational and career opportunities for granted because it was not that long ago that woman had to fight for the opportunities that seem normal in 2018.
I recommend it.