Taking only a modicum of knowledge for granted, Lancelot Hogben leads readers of this famous book through the whole course from simple arithmetic to calculus. His illuminating explanation is addressed to the person who wants to understand the place of mathematics in modern civilization but who has been intimidated by its supposed difficulty. Mathematics is the language of size, shape, and order - a language Hogben shows one can both master and enjoy. The book combines utmost brilliance with extraordinarily good common sense. Please sign in to write a review. If you have changed your email address then contact us and we will update your details.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Mathematics for the Million by Lancelot Hogben. Taking only the most elementary knowledge for granted, Lancelot Hogben leads readers of this famous book through the whole course from simple arithmetic to calculus.

His illuminating explanation is addressed to the person who wants to understand the place of mathematics in modern civilization but who has been intimidated by its supposed difficulty. Mathematics is the langu Taking only the most elementary knowledge for granted, Lancelot Hogben leads readers of this famous book through the whole course from simple arithmetic to calculus.

Mathematics is the language of size, shape, and order—a language Hogben shows one can both master and enjoy. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published September 17th by W. Norton Company first published March More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Mathematics for the Million , please sign up. Branimir Ivanovic This is amasing way to enter mathematics worls. Lancerot is effective presenter and explained all in acceptable way.

I love the book and have close to …more This is amasing way to enter mathematics worls. I love the book and have close to my hand all times to again open and read. Helps to understand maths. See 1 question about Mathematics for the Million…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Mar 02, John rated it liked it.

I actually really enjoy this book but the first time this book was given to me I passed it on to a friend who is much more math loving and math inclined than I. A few years later I asked him how he enjoyed it and he proceeded to become my tutor. I don't know that I would have developed such a strong interest, respect and a certain fondness for a language that I would have sworn could never be a native tongue of mine. This isn't an easy affair, though some readers out there are probably laughing a I actually really enjoy this book but the first time this book was given to me I passed it on to a friend who is much more math loving and math inclined than I.

This isn't an easy affair, though some readers out there are probably laughing and saying "I mastered the highest level of math covered in that book by the time I reached 8th grade.

View 1 comment. May 23, Lance rated it really liked it. I read this in high school or shortly thereafter. I like the way the Author presents the concepts historically. Once I found a paperback version, I bought it immediately. As soon as my sister, an ex-math teacher, saw it, she wanted it, so I had to buy another for her. The projects would probably be good for parents to do with their kids, like the makeshift astrolabe.

I would recommend this to homeschoolers and others who want to expand their knowledge of both mathematics and its history. Feb 13, Owen rated it it was amazing. Hard for me to believe that anyone would rate this book lower than a five. It is a unique and fascinating book that looks at the historical development of mathematics with a clear focus on the most practical of mathematical applications from geometry to statistics but doesn't shy away from the great leaps of logic and calculus.

It is not at all a classic textbook - but is far better. I learned more math from this book as a young teen than from any other source or teacher - and I LIKED learning Hard for me to believe that anyone would rate this book lower than a five. It's written in a pretty old-fashioned style nowadays but that plus the beautiful hand drawn diagrams make it a fantastic book Mar 23, Wm rated it it was amazing Shelves: science-and-math.

I keep this around as a basic text. It covers everything you need to know about mathematics. Lancelot Hogben is His person history is wild. This is one of the strangest maths books you are ever likely to encounter. Written in the s and reissued in , it's an attempt to provide mathematical instruction up to around A-level standard though obviously the curriculum has changed a lot for someone who, perhaps, doesn't respond well to the classroom and works better from self-teaching.

It's telling of the way popular science was considered in the period that apparently the author delayed publication as he was up for election to Fel This is one of the strangest maths books you are ever likely to encounter.

It's telling of the way popular science was considered in the period that apparently the author delayed publication as he was up for election to Fellowship of the Royal Society, which back then was dead against science popularisation. Hogben, in a distinctive, mellifluous if sometimes prolix style, starts with the basics of arithmetic and leads us all the way through to calculus. Unlike his contemporaries, who were all for working through hundreds of geometry proofs for completeness, Hogben fills in the parts at each stage of mathematical development needed to reach the next stage and gives us no more.

The narrative here is very much centred on the application of mathematics through history. We see how geometry might have been used by Egyptian architects, and how trigonometry benefits those who need to navigate by the stars.

The only problem with this learning-through-history approach is it can sometimes be hard to then relate what has been learned to uses in the present day. Lancelot Hogben never intended this to be a fun read to pootle through just for the sake of it. The book is peppered with many exercises. It seems to be devised as a self-teach textbook of the future as seen from the s , throwing away the strictures of the rigid teaching approach of that period for something that is more approachable.

It's hard to say how well it delivers from the modern viewpoint of someone who has gone through all this stuff at school in a fairly traditional way. Clearly a lot of people decided it was a good approach back then: the book might not have made the 'million' in the title but certainly sold many copies. To the modern eye, there is a danger of the book falling between two stools. It's not approachable enough to read purely for fun, but Hogben's distinctive, quirky style, combined with what is sometimes a rather tedious approach to the maths, means that it's not the best way for a modern reader, with no mathematical training, to learn about the subject.

It stands best as a unique and fascinating oddity in the history of mathematical books for the general public - and as such is worth taking a look at. Okay, a book on math that's over pages long!

Can I get through this? Well, I've read over pages of Charles Beaumont stories, so why not? Not that it will be easy to choke down this much math, but it's surely possible with a bit of discipline. Hogben starts with an interesting story about how Diderot was shamed in a public debate with Euler, who presented a purported mathematical proof of the existence of God.

Because Diderot had no knowledge of algebra, he conceded the debate and walked o Okay, a book on math that's over pages long! Because Diderot had no knowledge of algebra, he conceded the debate and walked out.

Weird, eh? Hogben then explains how Achilles can catch up to the tortoise. He explains why this was such a puzzle to the Ancient Greeks, and how the puzzle can be elegantly and simply solved by present-day, grade-school mathematical expressions and a simple graphical diagram.

This is weird, too! To think that the giants of Greek thought could be so stumped by such a simple problem for lack of simple tools and simple language that everyone takes for granted nowadays. I was particularly intrigued by the following introductory comment: "Our studies in mathematics are going to show us that whenever the culture of a people loses contact with the common life of mankind and becomes exclusively the plaything of the leisure class, it is becoming a priestcraft.

It is destined to end, as does all priestcraft, in superstition. View 2 comments. Feb 20, Loow added it. One of my favorites. Book to be studied over and over again! Sep 19, Shekhy rated it it was amazing.

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## Mathematics for the Million by Lancelot Hogben

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## HPM Newsletter

October 1, in Uncategorized. As a new regular feature of the HPM Newsletter, members of the HPM community will be asked to name a book or books, or a paper that has been important to them and to give their reasons for this. I was asked recently how I had become interested in the history of mathematics. I read it while starting the more advanced mathematics courses at school and for the first time I found a book about mathematics that was not a recipe book for manipulating mathematical expressions. To be fair a little more than following rules is required for higher school mathematics, but not much more. The striking thing about the book is that the mathematics is presented from the outset as an historical development. He says:.

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