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Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers Hardcover – January 1, 1997

4.6 out of 5 stars 122 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

What does mathematics mean? Is it numbers or arithmetic, proofs or equations? Jan Gullberg starts his massive historical overview with some insight into why human beings find it necessary to "reckon," or count, and what math means to us. From there to the last chapter, on differential equations, is a very long, but surprisingly engrossing journey. Mathematics covers how symbolic logic fits into cultures around the world, and gives fascinating biographical tidbits on mathematicians from Archimedes to Wiles. It's a big book, copiously illustrated with goofy little line drawings and cartoon reprints. But the real appeal (at least for math buffs) lies in the scads of problems--with solutions--illustrating the concepts. It really invites readers to sit down with a cup of tea, pencil and paper, and (ahem) a calculator and start solving. Remember the first time you "got it" in math class? With Mathematics you can recapture that bliss, and maybe learn something new, too. Everyone from schoolkids to professors (and maybe even die-hard mathphobes) can find something useful, informative, or entertaining here. --Therese Littleton

From Scientific American

The book is an enthusiastic and utterly amazing popularization that promises to be in print for decades.... It is an important reference and a book that is plain fun to dip into. If a family is to have only one mathematics book on the reference shelf, then this is the one.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
122 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on March 17, 2017
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Top international reviews

FatherOfGirls
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a truly outstanding work. Almost everything you ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 12, 2017
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Tom D
5.0 out of 5 stars It's everything you need to know about maths from its birth to now
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 15, 2019
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Chris Whealy
5.0 out of 5 stars Suddenly, mathematics is fun again!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 11, 2016
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David Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and informative
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 1, 2016
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tracy
5.0 out of 5 stars Top maths book!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 21, 2014
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A. Krecetovs
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 3, 2018
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DewaMan
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Scholarship
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 17, 2017
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theChancellor
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 22, 2016
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Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 11, 2015
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Mr Paul Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars An informative and fascinating read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 13, 2014
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Mr. P. K. Nicol
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 25, 2015
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Daniel Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 26, 2014
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ljc
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 30, 2015
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KALAITZOGLOU IORDANIS
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing reading
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 24, 2017
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Chris Miner
4.0 out of 5 stars Love this book but you might need to cross read to fully appreciate it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 23, 2013
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