Books That Inspire 2001

The World of Mathematics
James R. Newman

As a high school student in a small Oklahoma town in 1960, I was drawn to theoretical mathematics well before I knew what it was or how people made a living with it. Newman’s The World of Mathematics, a compilation of pieces about mathematics, came my way as a membership premium in a book club. I especially liked the biographical and autobiographical essays: my favorites came from E. T. Bell’s Men of Mathematics and G. H. Hardy’s A Mathematician’s Apology. In 1960 I wouldn’t have heard of those books, however, much less have access to them, except through Newman’s inspiring anthology.
Andy Magid
George Lynn Cross Research Professor of Mathematics