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From Barnes & Noble
When Fabonacci (c.1170-c.1250) acquired the open secret that revolutionized western arithmetic, he was just a young boy from Pisa traveling with his father in North Africa. It was there that he learned the Hindu-Arabic number system that he would come to realize was far preferable to the cumbersome system of Roman numerals. In 1202, he sat down to compose Liber abbaci (The Book of Calculation), a text that would facilitate business transactions and thus spur commerce of every conceivable type. Keith Devlin's The Man of Numbers recaptures the man behind the numbers we all take for granted.