Koen Crolla's Reviews > God Created the Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs That Changed History

God Created the Integers by Stephen Hawking
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bookshelves: mathematics, history

It's hard to see what Hawking intended with this book; the works are too inaccessible because of their great age (for the earlier ones) or the advanced mathematics background required (for many of the later ones) to be very enjoyable, and while they do add some historical perspective, spending a few dozen pages summarising them would probably have been more productive than spending a few hundred including translated fragments of them. Many of them are still interesting, but not 1160-pages interesting.

As a review of some of the most important mathematical breakthroughs in history, the book has some odd inclusions (I wouldn't have included Dedekind or Lebesgue, myself), some odd omissions (Pythagoras? Al-Khwārizmī, or any other Muslim mathematician?), some questionable choices of materials, and some peculiar emphases (over a hundred pages each for Euclid and Archimedes, and then Weierstrass gets seven?).

All in all, this book wasn't worth the effort of writing, and probably isn't worth the effort of reading, unless you just read the bios (which would bring this book down from 1160 pages to 120 or so; altogether more reasonable). The breakthroughs described are (mostly) important and (mostly) interesting, but there are better places to learn about them.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 2009 – Finished Reading
March 17, 2010 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Karan (new)

Karan hello sir, iam very much fascinated about mathematics and i want to read god created integers so if you have an e book of it so pls pls pls e mail it to me at karanharjai93@gmail.com pls pls e mail it as early as possible.

Koen Crolla Try a fucking library.

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