Author of 'My Jesus Year' signs second book deal
Updated: Mar 18, 2021
Benyamin Cohen, the author of “My Jesus Year: A Rabbi’s Son Wanders the Bible Belt in Search of His Own Faith,” has found his next book topic – and this one will also be about a famous figure in history: Albert Einstein.
“Most people look at Einstein as this character from history, but there are so many ways he’s relevant to our everyday life,” Cohen explained. “For example, Einstein’s theories led to the invention of GPS. Think about that the next time you’re using Waze to direct you through traffic or having a pizza delivered to your home. You have Einstein to thank for that.”
The new book is called “Einstein Tweets: How the World’s Favorite Genius Gave Us Amazon Prime, Fancy Toothpaste and Other Modern Marvels.” The deal was brokered by the Jason Yarn Literary Agency in New York. Cohen is writing it now, and it’s set to be published by Chicago-based Sourcebooks on Einstein’s 144th birthday – March 14, 2023.
Cohen has been fascinated with the modern-day relevance of Einstein since 2017. That’s when he was asked by the Einstein Archives to help manage the official social media accounts for the world’s favorite genius. Albert Einstein is one of the few dead celebrities with active accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. On Facebook alone, Einstein has 20 million fans – more than Tom Hanks and Oprah, combined.
Cohen frequently engages with those fans about new research that is being developed, all of which are based on Einstein’s work. “One of my favorite examples of this is a Harvard astronomer I interviewed for the book,” Cohen said. “This scientist has been given $100 million for an audacious project to search for aliens. And the entire thing is rooted in Einstein’s research.”
The book will also interview artists and celebrities who are inspired by Einstein. “I spoke with the actor Christopher Lloyd,” Cohen said. “He told me that his famous Doc Brown character from ‘Back to the Future’ was mirrored on Einstein. You’ll even recall the dog in that movie was named Einstein.”
Cohen, a native Atlantan, recently became the News Director at the Forward, the oldest Jewish newspaper in America. “It’s fortuitous that I got this new gig,” he said. “The Forward was started in 1897 and its archives are full of rarely seen Einstein photos and interviews.”
After writing about Jesus, many people have asked if he’d ever write a sequel to his first book, perhaps venturing out to spend time with another group. Could “My Muslim Year” be on the horizon? “I don’t know,” Cohen replied. “I now live in the woods in West Virginia. Maybe I should write ‘My Appalachian Year.’”