What do you mean there's no chapter 0? Whether or not you think that's a deficit, A History of Mathematics
more than makes up for it with its depth and engaging analysis of the development of the "flawless science." Historian Carl B. Boyer designed it as a practical textbook for communicating math's complex timelines to interested college students in 1968; Uta C. Merzbach has gently revised it to bring it in line with current thought. Much of the early chapters are untouched, with new 19th- and 20th-century chapters covering Boyer's omissions and new and revised references guiding the reader to additional resources.
From the origins of numbering to the future of computing, the authors strive for comprehensive examination and clear, simple explanations. Some of the math will daunt those who have never taken college-level courses (or have forgotten what they learned), but some of the more elaborate technical material can be skipped if needed. Especially helpful is the extensive timeline-appendix that proceeds from the beginning of time to the late 20th century. Whether you're using it to gain a better understanding of mathematics or to broaden your awareness of the historical record, A History of Mathematics will help you make sense of the wide world of numbers. --Rob Lightner
From the Back Cover
"Boyer and Merzbach distill thousands of years of mathematics into this fascinating chronicle. From the Greeks to Godel, the mathematics is brilliant; the cast of characters is distinguished; the ebb and flow of ideas is everywhere evident. And, while tracing the development of European mathematics, the authors do not overlook the contributions of Chinese, Indian, and Arabic civilizations. Without doubt, this isand will long remaina classic one-volume history of mathematics and mathematicians who create it." William Dunham Author, Journey Through Genius, The Great Theorems of Mathematics "When we read a book like A History of Mathematics, we get the picture of a mounting structure, ever taller and broader and more beautiful and magnificentand with a foundation, moreover, that is as untainted and as functional now as it was when Thales worked out the first geometrical theorems nearly 26 centuries ago." From the Foreword by Isaac Asimov "One of the most useful and comprehensive general introductions to the subject." J. W. Dauben The City University of New York "Both readable and scholarly, this book can serve as a fine introduction to the topic and also a reference book." J. David Bolter University of North Carolina Author of Turings Man Revised to make it more accessible to a general audience, A History of Mathematics paints a vivid picture of humankinds relationship with numbers. Updated and expanded, it now offers broadened coverage of twentieth century advances in probability and computers, and updated references to further reading. A feature that will be of interest to every reader is an appendix containing an extensive chronological table of mathematical and general historical developments.