The Man of Numbers

manofnumbsThe Man of Numbers:  Fibonacci’s Arithmetic Revolution
by Keith Devlin
2011 / 192 pages
rating – 7

Okay – so having a bit of time available (not really but I’m in a lot of denial) I gave the Kindle sample of  The Man of Numbers a try. I got involved very quickly,  it’s a light little read that far,  and at only $2.99 for 192 pages well … Dear Reader,   I got it.  This is a huge and welcome change from God’s War!

Finished the Intro pretty quickly and then found Chapter – um … Chapter 0 – (zero) – omg – the title of Chapter 0 is  “Your Days Are Numbered.”  Too funny.

I am coming up with some comments though.  For instance,  this tid-bit is new to me:
“Medieval authors did not usually give their works titles. The name we use today
for Leonardo’s book comes from his opening statement:

Here begins the Book of Calculation Composed by Leonardo
Pisano, Family Bonacci, In the Year 1202 ”
Kindle locations 156-157

Overall the book is interesting but only moderately well written and somehow lacks a spark.   There’s really quite a lot of math in it – interestingly enough they are “word problems” because that’s all Leonardo had to work with.

But the times are interesting – this takes place mostly right around the same time as the Crusades,  a period I’m getting more and more familiar with.  It deals with the Hindu-Arab number system (so-called becuase it was Indian originally but modified by the Arabs before being  adopted in Europe –  from the Arabs.  by the Arabs.   That stuff was fascinating.

Math DL review

The Guardian review

Interesting discussion at the NPR review 

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