The Universal History of Numbers: From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer

The Universal History of Numbers: From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer

by Georges Ifrah

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The Universal History of Numbers: From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer by Georges Ifrah

"Monumental [and dazzling. A wonderful gift."--Kirkus Reviews

"Georges Ifrah is the man, and this book, quite simply, rules. . . . It is outstanding . . . a mind-boggling and enriching experience."--Guardian (London)

"Monumental . . . a fascinating journey taking us through many different cultures."--The Times (London)

"Ifrah's book amazes and fascinates by the scope of its scholarship. It is nothing less than the history of the human race told through figures."--International Herald Tribune

A riveting history of numbers from the time of the cave dwellers to the twentieth century, this landmark international bestseller is the first complete, universal study of the invention and evolution of numbers the world over. Georges Ifrah brings numbers to thrilling life, explaining their development in human terms, the interesting situations that made them necessary, and the brilliant achievements in human thought that they made possible. The reader is taken through the numbers story from Europe to China, via ancient Greece and Rome, Mesopotamia, Latin America, India, and the Arabic countries. Exploring the many ways civilizations developed and changed their mathematical systems, Ifrah imparts a unique insight into the nature of human thought--and into how our understanding of numbers and the ways they shape our lives has changed over thousands of years. The engaging text is illustrated with over 150 figures.

George Ifrah (France) is an independent scholar and former math teacher. He has been called the "Indiana Jones" of numbers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781860463242
Publisher: Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/01/1998
Pages: 633
Product dimensions: 9.45(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)

About the Author

GEORGES IFRAH is an independent scholar and former math teacher. DAVID BELLOS, the primary translator, is Professor of French at Princeton University. SOPHIE WOOD, cotranslator, is a specialist in technical translation from French. IAN MONK, cotranslator, has translated the works of Georges Perec and Daniel Pennac.

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