3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A History of Pi,
This review is from: A History of Pi (Paperback)
There are three things to say about this book:
1. It is a reprint of a book first published in 1974, ie before the personal-computer age got going; it thus covers the history of pi only up to about 30 years ago. But this does not detract very much from the book as all that has happened (I think) since the advent of powerful computers is that pi has been calculated to a lot more decimal places.
2. The author - someone who has an interest in history as well as mathematics - is very polemical in his views, calling the Romans "thugs" because of their disregard for culture, and taking a hard line on the Church and Communism in relation to their lack of openness towards science and the discussion of new ideas. Readers should be prepared for more than just a mathematical treatise.
3. I am a maths graduate (of many years ago) and was able to follow most of the mathematical proofs and calculations in the book, athough it seemed to me that there were some typographical errors in the maths that at times made the logic hard to follow (or was it just me??).
Overall, though, if you want a fairly easy read of a good description of the history of the discovery of pi and the work done over the centuries trying to discern its value, this book is worth having.