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Men of Mathematics (Touchstone Books (Paperback)) Paperback – 1 Jan 1986

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 590 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Touchstone Ed edition (1 Jan. 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671628186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671628185
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 4.1 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 245,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"The New York Times"

Extremely harmonious...a first text in the philosophy of mathematics....Bell's style is very enjoyable.



Bertrand Russell

Professor Bell has done his work well....Any [one] engaged in learning mathematics will profit by reading him, since he humanizes the subject and helps to a realization of the historical environment.



"Nature"

Professor E.T. Bell has written a fascinating book. The amount of biographical details and of mathematics that he has compressed into a volume of 600 pages is extraordinary...he carries the reader along; he whets the appetite.



"The New York Times"Extremely harmonious...a first text in the philosophy of mathematics....Bell's style is very enjoyable.

Bertrand RussellProfessor Bell has done his work well....Any [one] engaged in learning mathematics will profit by reading him, since he humanizes the subject and helps to a realization of the historical environment.

"Nature"Professor E.T. Bell has written a fascinating book. The amount of biographical details and of mathematics that he has compressed into a volume of 600 pages is extraordinary...he carries the reader along; he whets the appetite.

"Professor E. T. Bell has written a fascinating book. The amount of biographical details and of mathematics that he has compressed into a volume of 600 pages is extraordinary.... He carries the reader along; he whets the appetite." -- "Nature"

"Extremely harmonious...A first text in the philosophy of mathematics...Bell's style is very enjoyable." -- "The New York Times"

"Professor Bell has done his work well.... Any [one] engaged in learning mathematics will profit by reading him, since he humanizes the subject and helps to a realization of the historical environment." -- Bertrand russell, author of "A History of Western Philosophy"

Bertrand Russell Professor Bell has done his work well....Any [one] engaged in learning mathematics will profit by reading him, since he humanizes the subject and helps to a realization of the historical environment.

"The New York Times" Extremely harmonious...a first text in the philosophy of mathematics....Bell's style is very enjoyable.

"Nature" Professor E.T. Bell has written a fascinating book. The amount of biographical details and of mathematics that he has compressed into a volume of 600 pages is extraordinary...he carries the reader along; he whets the appetite.

The New York Times Extremely harmonious...a first text in the philosophy of mathematics....Bell's style is very enjoyable.

Nature Professor E.T. Bell has written a fascinating book. The amount of biographical details and of mathematics that he has compressed into a volume of 600 pages is extraordinary...he carries the reader along; he whets the appetite.


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading one dire "history of maths" book, I had this book by Bell recommended by a friend. It is very long, 2/3 of each chapter deals with the lives of the mathematicians, the remaining 1/3 of each chapter with their achievements. The old-fashioned language is either cringeworthy or hilarious (I think the latter) depending on your point of view. Example (from memory but the text is peppered with similarly patronising lines): "only a half-blind idiot with the barest minimum of elementary maths could fail to appreciate the significance of such and such a result".

Written in 1937 so also very out of date, but it is packed full of facts about the mathematicians who came before then. A good read but I'm still searching for a great History Of Maths book.
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Format: Paperback
Good historical review of the lives, discoveries and achievements of over 30 giants of Mathematics.

A mandatory book, to be included in your library if you are interested in mathematics, even if you disagree with Bell's choices.
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Format: Paperback
Eric Temple Bell was a fine mathematician on his own. And he could write, also."Men of Mathematics" is a great book and probably a perennial one. I read it first almost 50 years ago, in a Spanish translation. I was immediately fascinated. It obviously influenced me, as, later, on the brink of entering the university, I decided to change from medicine to mathematical physics. The chapters had charming titles: the one that talked about Cayley and Sylvester was called Invariant Twins (Gemelos Invariantes); the one on Galois, "Genius and Tragedy". Now I have the last edition, and the titles are all there. At the time of my first reading the men which impressed me more were Gauss (unforgetable chapter), Riemann (very moving), Galois and, of course, Newton. Recently I read some comments on his chapter on Riemann, considered overly romanticized. Who cares?
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Format: Paperback
E.T. Bell's classic treatment of the lives of the great
mathematicans has inspired generations of future
mathematicians while providing fascinating reading for the
non-mathematician as well. Bell describes the drama of
the lives of these men in a way that can hold the interest
of the general reader. His chapter on the short tragic life
of Galois, the French genius who died at only 20, is a
classic of its kind. Bell makes it possible to see the way
the work that shaped the modern world was created in
considerable drama and with joyful discovery.
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By A Customer on 5 Nov. 1998
Format: Paperback
This book contains lots of information on some lesser known mathematicans. I had been assigned a research project on a mathematican named Charles Hermite, and this book contained a whole world of information.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating set of short biographies of leading mathematicians. The emphasis is less on the detail of the maths than on the lives and psychologies of the persons covered. It has earned its place as a work well-respected since its publication in 1937.

The modern reader may find some of the donnish humour a little old-fashioned, and occasionally remarks about religious beliefs jar, but the book remains well worth reading.

At times the exposition of mathematical ideas is slightly too compressed for the lay reader to gain more than a flavour of what is involved. In my Touchstone edition (published by Simon and Schuster) the print quality makes some mathematical expressions difficult to decipher, especially where superscripts or subscripts appear. But, given the biographical focus of the book, these are minor drawbacks.
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By A Customer on 4 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a fine book, highly recommended. I found it because it was mentioned in Sylvia Nasar's "A Beautiful Mind" (another good book, BTW). If it were reissued in hardback I would buy it again.
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