Edited by Tom Jackson
Shelter Harbor Press, $24.95, 144 pages
Here is a wonderful large-format book that will provide weeks or months of fascinating reading to anyone even slightly interested in mathematics and numbers. Mathematics: An Illustrated History of Numbers uses simple explanations and not a bit of condescending language to explain everything related to mathematics and numbers, and is profusely illustrated with simple drawing, historic photos and diagrams. Both adults and young adults with a curiosity for and fascination with mathematics will very much enjoy this volume edited by Tom Jackson and written by seven contributors.
“Mathematics is a subject set apart from all other human achievements, the interface between intellect and imagination, where the real and unreal are precisely configured.”
The book is divided into four sections: the first two deal with history in 41 short chapters, after which come New Numbers and New Theories and the last chapter, Modern Mathematics. You’ll learn everything from the pendulum law to calendars, slide rule, code-breaking, Boolean algebra, chaos theory and more in 100 short chapters.
The book is beautiful and the pages are laid out clearly with easily readable text and understandable illustrations. There is also a guide to mathematics, a section of questions still unanswered in mathematics and a list of the great mathematicians with brief biographies and descriptions of their achievements. A 12-page removable timeline of mathematics history is included in a pocket. This is a truly excellent book.
Reviewed by George Erdosh