From Scientific American
Mazur, a mathematician and university professor at Harvard University, writes "for people who have no training in mathematics and who may not have actively thought about mathematics since high school, or even during it, but who may wish to experience an act of mathematical imagining and to consider how such an experience compares with the imaginative work involved in reading and understanding a phrase in a poem." It is a stimulating and challenging journey, one likely to lead the reader to share Mazur's view: "The great glory of mathematics is its durative nature; that it is one of humankind's longest conversations; that it never finishes by answering some questions and taking a bow. Rather, mathematics views its most cherished answers only as springboards to deeper questions."
Editors of Scientific American
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"A poetic and profound meditation on the mathematical imagination." --The Christian Science Monitor
"[A] quizzing, quizzical little book...The window which Mazur cuts into the world of imaginary numbers is just as exciting, and almost as provocative, as anything in Phillip Pullman." --The Observer (London)
"Through anecdotes, poetry, and philosophy, Mazur...makes a delightful case for the pleasures of abstract thought."--New Scientist
"This absorbing and in itself most imaginative book lies in the grand tradition of explanations of what mathematical imagination is...and will appeal particularly to lovers of literature."--John Hollander
"Barry Mazur's Imagining Numbers is quite literally a charming book; it has brought even me, in a dazed state, to the brink of mathematical play." --Richard Wilbur, author of Mayflies: New Poems and Translations