American Journal of Physics
(First paragraph) To describe the landscape encompassed by this book I can do no better than to quote the dust jacket: "A Wealth of Numbers includes recreational, classroom, and work mathematics; mathematical histories and biographies; accounts of higher mathematics; explanations of mathematical instruments; discussions of how math should be taught and learned; reflections on the place of math in the world; and math in fiction and humor." More such details can be found on the Princeton University Press website. I shall use this as a point of departure to describe the highlights of my own trajectory through the book. Not being a huge fan of puzzles, I skimmed Chapter One ("Sports and Pastimes, Done by Number: Mathematical Tricks, Mathematical Games") to find some fascinating tidbits in the next ("Much Necessary for All States of Men: From Arithmetic to Algebra.") Who can fail to be intrigued by J.E. Thompson's l93i article on "Cubic Equations for the Practical Man"!
Original Publication Citation
Adam, J. A. (2012). A Wealth of Numbers: An Anthology of 500 Years of Popular Mathematics Writing, by Benjamin Wardhaugh. Princeton University Press: Princeton, 2012 (Book Review). American Journal of Physics, 80(8), 745-746. doi:10.1119/1.4729608
Adam, John A., "A Wealth of Numbers: An Anthology of 500 Years of Popular Mathematics Writing, by Benjamin Wardhaugh. Princeton University Press: Princeton, 2012 (Book Review)" (2012). Mathematics & Statistics Faculty Publications. 158.