Review
"[A] wonderful book. . . . Havil's emphasis on historical context and his conversational style make this a pleasure to read. . . .
Gamma is a gold mine of irresistible mathematical nuggets. Anyone with a serious interest in maths will find it richly rewarding."
--Ben Longstaff, New Scientist
"This book is a joy from start to finish."
--Gerry Leversha, Mathematical Gazette
"[
Gamma] is not a book about mathematics, but a book of mathematics. . . . [It] is something like a picaresque novel; the hero, Euler's constant
g, serves as the unifying motif through a wide range of mathematical adventures."
--Dan Segal, Notices of the American Mathematical Society
"The book is enjoyable for many reasons. Here are just two. First, the explanations are not only complete, but they have the right amount of generality. . . . Second, the pleasure Havil has in contemplating this material is infectious."
--Jeremy Gray, MAA Online
"It is only fitting that someone should write a book about gamma, or Euler's constant. Havil takes on this task and does an excellent job."
--Choice
"This book is accessible to a wide range of readers, and should particularly appeal to those who feel a love for mathematics and are
dissuaded by the dryness and formality of text-books, but are also not satisfied by the less rigorous approach of most popular books. Mathematics is presented throughout as something connected to reality. . . . Many readers will find in this book exactly what they have been missing."
--Mohammad Akbar, Plus Magazine, Millennium Mathematics Project, University of Cambridge"This book is written in an informal, engaging, and often amusing style. The author takes pains to make the mathematics clear. He writes about the mathematical geniuses of the past with reverence and awe. It is especially nice that the mathematical topics are discussed within a historical context."
--Ward R. Stewart, Mathematics Teacher
From the Inside Flap
"I like this book very much. So much, in fact, that I found myself muttering 'neat stuff!' all the way through. While it is about an important topic, there isn't a single competitor. This amazing oversight by past authors is presumably the result of the topic requiring an author with a pretty sophisticated mathematical personality. Havil clearly has that. His skillful weaving of mathematics and history makes the book a 'fun' read. Many instructors will surely find the book attractive."--Paul J. Nahin, author of
Duelling Idiots and
Other Probability Puzzlers and
An Imaginary Tale
"This is an excellent book, mathematically as well as historically. It represents a significant contribution to the literature on mathematics and its history at the upper undergraduate and graduate levels. Julian Havil injects genuine excitement into the topic."--Eli Maor, author of e: The Story of a Number