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Walter Rudin's memoirs should prove to be a delightful read specifically to mathematicians, but also to historians who are interested in learning about his colorful history and ancestry. Characterized by his personal style of elegance, clarity, and brevity, Rudin presents in the first part of the book his early memories about his family history, his boyhood in Vienna throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and his experiences during World War II. Part II offers samples of his work, in which he relates where problems came from, what their solutions led to, and who else was involved. As those who are familiar with Rudin's writing will recognize, he brings to this book the same care, depth, and originality that is the hallmark of his work.
Posted January 2, 2003
I learned from Rudin's math books when I grew up, starting with "Baby-Rudin", and I got hooked. Since then I have taught from almost everyone of them.--- Not this one though! This book is different. It does have math though, but at the same time, in the math part[the second half of the book], Rudin surprises you by letting you look behind the curtain. You are let in on how the author, the mathematician Rudin, arrived at some of his theorems. Enlightening! The early parts of this fascinating book recounts Walter Rudin's childhood in central Europe[Vienna], how he escaped to the US, with his life, as Hitler's armies, and the fire of anti-semitism, engulfed Europe in the years up to the second World War. The last ship sailing, at the eve of WWII, from Europe was like an ark. Mount Ararat was America. A well meaning reviewer writes on the back-cover to the book as follows: "...Rudin's colorful history, ... his experiences...".--- Well it is more than that! Another book,[a somewhat different one, from a slightly earlier period, but still the theme of Europe then, and escape...] starts: ..."This book is to be neither..., and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it..."Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.