MEN OF MATHEMATICS by E. T. Bell

MEN OF MATHEMATICS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a puzzler. There's a chance that it may catch the popular fancy. Frankly, I doubt it -- for the title is a poser, and many people -- like myself -- turn pale at the sight of a problem in mathematics. But, once that hurdle is taken, and a policy of judicious skipping adopted, without apology, anyone with an intelligent interest in a new angle on human development, an appreciation of a superbly executed piece of difficult welding together of unfamiliar and ungetatable material, and a sense of dramatic writing, a gift of anecdote, and a genius for swift delineation of personalities, will find this absorbingly interesting. My advice is to sell it on these terms. Don't camouflage the fact that the book bristles with mathematical obscurities, save to the initiates. But assure your customers, that they can skip the mathematics and get a lot out of the balance. And for those who like mathematics -- it's a natural. The author delves into the distant past, but rapidly brings his subject up to date (though his exclusions are surprising). Zeno, Archimedes, Descartes, Fermat, Pascal, Newton, Euler, Lagrange, Fourier, Gauss, Abel, Galois, Poincare, Cantor and many lesser lights, Publishers backing with enthusiasm -- and when S & S backs a book, they back it!

Pub Date: March 10th, 1936
ISBN: 0671628186
Publisher: Simon & Schuster