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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Text!
This is the book on mathematics I have been hoping to find for many years.

For a non-mathematician who wants to get a good functioning overview and practical understanding of the whole subject this book is perfect. The book takes a historical and philosophical approach taking us from the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Hindus and Arabs up to the modern era and...
Published on 4 July 2010 by Number 16

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1.0 out of 5 stars Historically and Culturally Very Outdated and Very Prejudiced
Just a quick note to warn readers of a few of the inaccuracies and untruths present in this book.

Consider these:

"The final destruction of Alexandria in 640 AD was the deed of the Arabs". Wrong! This view has been widely discredited. What is particularly irritating is that even at the time writing (1960s) Mr. Kline would or should have known that...
Published 5 months ago by anti-thesis


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Text!, 4 July 2010
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This review is from: Mathematics for the Non-mathematician (Dover Books on Mathematics) (Paperback)
This is the book on mathematics I have been hoping to find for many years.

For a non-mathematician who wants to get a good functioning overview and practical understanding of the whole subject this book is perfect. The book takes a historical and philosophical approach taking us from the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Hindus and Arabs up to the modern era and Einstein. However, despite all of the fascinating background historical information, this is not a history of mathematics, it is a real mathematics book and is full of clear examples of problems and additional exercises (with answers).

The book progresses from logic, to arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, statistics, probability, and non-Euclidian geometries.

The book is also rich on its discussions of mathematical applications and goes into some depth regarding astronomy, painting and perspective, physical laws of motion and gravity, and music.

Morris Kline was Emeritus Professor of Math and New York University. The book was first published in 1967 and is a real classic.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A look at the enigmatic realm of math for the right brained, 24 Sep 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: Mathematics for the Non-mathematician (Dover Books on Mathematics) (Paperback)
A Fantastic piece of literature. It is a guide to an amazing
new world for those of us, who will never become the next
Fermat or Gauss. Kline writes in such a way that you are
drawn into the whole mathematic principle, from history to
thought processes all of the time keeping the reader aware
of the implication of this new concept on our reality.
Brillant!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mathematics for the Nonmathematician, 28 Feb 2014
This review is from: Mathematics for the Non-mathematician (Dover Books on Mathematics) (Paperback)
The author reawoke my love for mathematics. Reading his book is akin to having an excellent teacher by your side, doing mathematics together. I used this book to review high school mathematics, but I got a lot more out of it.

There are many good exercises, which are easy enough for someone who knows elementary algebra. But that is not the only reason you should buy the book. The math is embedded in its historical context; it's this mix of elegant prose and exercises which makes this book invaluable.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Historically and Culturally Very Outdated and Very Prejudiced, 14 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mathematics for the Non-mathematician (Dover Books on Mathematics) (Paperback)
Just a quick note to warn readers of a few of the inaccuracies and untruths present in this book.

Consider these:

"The final destruction of Alexandria in 640 AD was the deed of the Arabs". Wrong! This view has been widely discredited. What is particularly irritating is that even at the time writing (1960s) Mr. Kline would or should have known that this opinion - and it is merely that - was contentious, but this doesn't prevent him from presenting it as an uncomplicated 'fact'.

"...the Arabs contributed little that was original in Mathematics..." Again wrong. The Arabs made many significant original contributions; Algebra and algorithm should have been clues as to but a few of their contributions, but Mr Kline sees fit to pass by these.

And what can one make of this gem:

"the Arabs manfully [?] resisted the lures of exact reasoning in their contributions" - Pure nonsense!

Or what about this piece of work:

"The Arabs, who suddenly appeared on the scene of history in the role of destroyers" - Can you hear the crackle of hate coming off the page? The caliber of the man is clearly shown in this statement.

Mr Kline is equally dismissive of the Indian and Chinese contributions - though he reserves most of his scorn for the 'Arabs' - and describes the Franks and Germanic peoples of early Europe as "primitive indeed". I could go on giving examples of this crude, hostile, and patronizing attitude towards anything that's not ancient Greek and modern European; the book is replete with unsubstantiated, high-handed, pompous assertions.

I would encourage readers to be very wary of the book's historical and cultural aspects - which are integral to its treatment of mathematics - because some of it is simply wrong, vacuous, opinionated, and in places is either verging on the bigoted or has tipped into outright bigotry. Apart from the actual mathematics, the book is now very outdated. It's a shame that for a 'man of reason' Mr Kline indulges in such shallow and frankly speaking, ignorant assertions - dressed up as 'fact' - that are more worthy of a hack journalist.
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