Esther Simpson (versione in eBook)
The Forgotten Woman Who Defied the Nazis and Helped Shape the Cultural History of the World
di John Eidinow
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This is the story of Esther Simpson, a remarkable woman history has largely forgotten, but whose selfless actions left an indelible mark on the cultural and intellectual landscape of the modern world. Forgoing marriage, family, even, it seems, a private life, she committed her whole life resettling academic refugees before, during and after World War Two. She thought of these refugees as her family and by the end of her life could count among her 'children' sixteen Nobel prize winners, eighteen knights of the realm, seventy-four fellows of the royal society, thirty-four fellows of the British academy. From a humble upbringing in Leeds to Russian immigrant parents, Simpson received her degree in French and German before taking on secretarial roles that saw her move to London first, then Vienna and finally Geneva. But when Hitler came to power she found her calling and joined the Academic Assistance Council for a salary the paid a third of what she was previously earning. Her work over more than five decades seeking refuge for many thousands of displaced academics had a profound impact on twentieth-century physics, philosophy, architecture, art history and molecular biology to name just a handful of disciplines. For a woman who kept such regular correspondence with her refugee 'children' - as she called them - and who could count among her pen pals Albert Einstein and Ludwig Wittgenstein, surprisingly little is known of her private life. This book is a study of a forgotten woman: who she was, her impact upon the world and the historical context that helped shape her achievements.
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- Data uscita:02/09/2021