Eccentricity and Genius at the Institute for Advanced Study. Ed Regjs. Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA. 1987. 320 pp. $17.95.

Since Albert Einstein’s sojourn there, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey has enjoyed a worldwide reputation as a preeminent think-tank. As the author, philosopher Ed Regis, puts it, the institute is a “Platonic Heaven” where esoteric thinkers can muse about the most abstract forms of the universe. He further explains, “They make no product and they do no experiment. Their whole purpose in life is simply and solely to understand.”

Regis’ purpose in Who Got Einstein’s Office? is deceptively simpIe. When a 1983 magazine assignment brought him to the campus of this “very special place,” he was filled with questions. “What was the Institute anyway, and what did its great minds do there?” After briefly reviewing the origins of the institute, Regis devotes chapters to...

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