David Acheson's extraordinary little book makes mathematics accessible to everyone. From very simple beginnings he takes us on a thrilling journey to some deep mathematical ideas. On the way, via Kepler and Newton, he explains what calculus really means, gives a brief history of pi, and even takes us to chaos theory and imaginary numbers. Every short chapter is carefully crafted to ensure that no one will get lost on the journey. Packed with puzzles and illustrated by world famous cartoonists, this is one of the most readable and imaginative books on mathematics ever written.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Weight: 200 g
Dimensions: 173 x 122 x 10 mm
Popular maths is not easy to do, but David Acheson has really achieved it with this pocket-sized gem of a book.
Review from previous edition 1089 and All That is an instant classic... an inspiring little masterpiece.
Possibly the nicest maths book ever written.
Every so often an author presents scientific ideas in a new way... Starting from such minimalist material, David Acheson works his way up to chaos and catastrophe theory. Not a page passes without at least one intriguing insight... Anyone who is baffled by mathematics should buy it. And all mathematicians should buy at least a dozen copies to hand out to people they meet at parties. My enthusiasm for it knows no bounds.
The tone of this little gem of a book is set by the allusion in its title to the W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman classic 1066 and All That, and the outrageous Steve Bell cartoon on its cover ... The book is such an easy and entertaining read (my non-mathematical family members agree) ... There are few mathematicians who succeed in writing popular accounts of their craft without being superficial or condescending. With this book David Acheson has joined the best of them.
My ten-year-old daughter read the book with my guidance and loved it. Even mathematicians will find fresh perspectives on old themes in this playful and inventive book.
The reader is left with a sense of the magic of mathematics ... An earlier reviewer has advised everyone to 'go out and buy a dozen copies', and I heartily agree, and hope that our embattled schoolteachers (and university lecturers!) take up the cry.
On the surface this book is another of those 'let's look at the funny things about numbers' books. But no, this one was far more than that. It treated subjects briefly but in depth and breadth, linked them together, didn't make assumptions... Truly inspiring, and a great read over a weekend.
Every teenage mathematician should have a copy.
An ideal present for friends and relatives who are not mathematicians.
Even though you have doubtless read everything by Keith Devlin, Simon Singh, Martin Gardner...and you-name-it, this wonderful work is yet another 'must' for your bookshelf!
An ingenious, pleasure-filled and humorous journey into mathematics.
The jacket blurb does not exaggerate.....at least, not by much.
An amusing and entertaining roller-coaster ride into the world of mathematics.
Fasten your seatbelts!