For readers of Steven Strogatz's Infinite Powers and The Joy of x comes this illuminating exploration of the ways in which math--and the people who have mastered its inherent power through the ages--has shaped our world.
In this captivating, sweeping history, Michael Brooks makes clear that mathematics was one of the foundational innovations that catapulted humanity from a nomadic existence to civilization, and that it has been instrumental in every subsequent great leap of humankind--from charting the movements of celestial bodies, to navigating the globe, to tracking the dissemination of viruses. And the trailblazing mathematicians who devoted their lives to taming numbers come to life in Brooks's telling. Here are ancient Egyptian priests, Babylonian tax officials, the Apollo astronauts, the hobbyist who cracked a mapmaking puzzle that had stumped both NASA and U.S. Geological Survey, and the MIT professor who invented the infrastructure of the online world. Their stories clearly demonstrate that the invention of mathematics is every bit as important to the human species as the discovery of fire. First page to last, The Art of More
brings mathematics back into the heart of what it means to be human.