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Martin Gardner: A Remembrance
The worldwide mathematical community was saddened by the death of Martin Gardner on May 22, 2010. Martin was 95 years old when he died, and had written 70 or 80 books during his long lifetime as an author. Martin's first Dover books were published in 1956 and 1957: Mathematics, Magic and Mystery, one of the first popular books on the intellectual excitement of mathematics to reach a wide audience, and Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, certainly one of the first popular books to cast a devastatingly skeptical eye on the claims of pseudoscience and the many guises in which the modern world has given rise to it. Both of these pioneering books are still in print with Dover today along with more than a dozen other titles of Martin's books. They run the gamut from his elementary Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing, which has been enjoyed by generations of younger readers since the 1980s, to the more demanding The New Ambidextrous Universe: Symmetry and Asymmetry from Mirror Reflections to Superstrings, which Dover published in its final revised form in 2005.
To those of us who have been associated with Dover for a long time, however, Martin was more than an author, albeit a remarkably popular and successful one. As a member of the small group of long-time advisors and consultants, which included NYU's Morris Kline in mathematics, Harvard's I. Bernard Cohen in the history of science, and MIT's J. P. Den Hartog in engineering, Martin's advice and editorial suggestions in the formative 1950s helped to define the Dover publishing program and give it the point of view which — despite many changes, new directions, and the consequences of evolution — continues to be operative today.
In the Author's Own Words:
"Politicians, real-estate agents, used-car salesmen, and advertising copy-writers are expected to stretch facts in self-serving directions, but scientists who falsify their results are regarded by their peers as committing an inexcusable crime. Yet the sad fact is that the history of science swarms with cases of outright fakery and instances of scientists who unconsciously distorted their work by seeing it through lenses of passionately held beliefs."
"A surprising proportion of mathematicians are accomplished musicians. Is it because music and mathematics share patterns that are beautiful?" — Martin Gardner
A classic in ebook format - what else one can wish for? Excellent for the lay person first acquaintance with relativity theory.Published 4 months ago by Simon Shemesh
Watching documentaries and reading about Relativity theory I always have questions that were not answered. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Alexey
This book was the best explanation of Relativity that I could find. I have had passed experience with a college course and two other books (Relativity: The Special and the General... Read morePublished on February 21, 2010 by Lance Finfrock
Non-math books, such as this one, should be required reading for all physics majors in college. Too many highly educated individuals know all the math but don't understand the... Read morePublished on February 28, 2009 by Alfred A. Smith
This book makes the point that America's policy toward Israel has a long historical background, partly based on religious attitudes and partly on the holocaust. Read morePublished on October 18, 2008 by Amazon Customer
I still struggle as a physics teacher to understand relativity. This book was recommended by a college professor who understood my struggle. Read morePublished on June 26, 2007 by Christie EP
Reading this book, you will often cry "But WHY? ...Why does that follow from the axioms?"
In short, this book explains WHAT relativity says, but it's very buggy in... Read more
I earlier reviewed this book while I was in the middleo of it. Now that I finished it I give it four stars. Read morePublished on October 5, 2000 by Jeremy