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The King of Infinite Space: Euclid and His Elements

David Berlinski

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Prose: non-fiction, Mathematics

"Lively... Berlinski guides us through an austere world of shapes and numbers with enthusiasm, assurance, and mischievous humour."-The New Yorker

For more than two thousand years, geometry has been equated with Euclid's Elements , the world's first mathematical treatise. The system of shapes and space it describes is at once so powerful and so natural that it has intrigued men and women for centuries, and continues to be taught in classrooms around the world. In The King of Infinite Space , David Berlinski pays homage to Euclid and the vision that he created, showing how Euclid has achieved a hold on our imagination for reasons that go beyond the details of his proofs. Euclid provided mathematicians with a way of life, a technique of proceeding from what must be assumed to what can be demonstrated. The circumstances under which Euclid composed the Elements remain largely unknown, and the details of his life have long since vanished. But through his masterpiece, Euclid,and the mathematical tradition he established,have achieved immortality. Written with Berlinski's characteristic lyricism and verve, The King of Infinite Space offers a rich, accessible treatment of Euclid and his Elements.

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David Berlinski

David Berlinski holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University and has taught mathematics and philosophy at universities in the United States and in France. He is the best-selling author of such books as A Tour of the Calculus, The Advent of the Algorithm, and Newton's Gift. Berlinski writes frequently for Commentary, among other journals. He lives in Paris, France.

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