Duel at Dawn: Heroes, Martyrs, and the Rise of Modern Mathematics
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Duel at Dawn: Heroes, Martyrs, and the Rise of Modern Mathematics

3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  20 ratings  ·  4 reviews
In the fog of a Paris dawn in 1832, Evariste Galois, the 20-year-old founder of modern algebra, was shot and killed in a duel. That gunshot, suggests Amir Alexander, marked the end of one era in mathematics and the beginning of another. Arguing that not even the purest mathematics can be separated from its cultural background, Alexander shows how popular stories about math...more
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published April 30th 2010 by Harvard University Press
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This was a terrific book, so long as the reader has an interest in either math or in modern intellectual history. The only way this book could have been improved is if the author had included some contributions from women mathematicians. They are conspicuous by their absence. I realize that 19th c. Europe was not swimming in female geometres, but it seems inconceivable that they played absolutely *zero* role in the developments chronicled in this book. That said, it was terribly interesting read...more
Adam Boudreau
When I first read the description of this book on the dust jacket in the bookstore I realized I needed to buy the book immediately. When I got home, I started reading right away. I tore through the first parts of this book as the real stories of Galois and the authors premise came to light... but then my interest sort of stalled out after a while.

I think it had to do with the fact that this book wound up coming off as very repetitive. This book is extremely well researched and I loved finding ou...more
Nick Black
groundbreaking and meticulous research regarding the lives of galois, d'alambert, and abel (strongly refuting bell's the men of mathematics), but pretty repetitive after that, and lacking support for its central thesis.

the first book to have been read (for the first time, otherwise it'd be my cousin my gastroenterologist) in my new, permanent residence, hurrah! http://dank.qemfd.net/dankwiki/index.... w00t

http://bnreview.barnesandnoble.com/t5... (linked to from http://www.aldaily.com)
Some really interesting points. But also super repetitive in places.
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Amir Alexander teaches history at UCLA. He is the author of Geometrical Landscapes and Duel at Dawn. His work has been featured in Nature, the Guardian, among others. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
More about Amir Alexander...
Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World Geometrical Landscapes: The Voyages of Discovery and the Transformation of Mathematical Practice

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