I have read all the comments, because I wanted to potentially assign this book as reading for my undergraduate mathematics courses. The low ratings have some very good points, but let's face it... this is a pop-history of zero, not a graduate thesis, or a mathematical proof.
Here are my interpretations after reading the book and reviewing the comments:
1. I see some math-sticklers really hate this book. If you want a math book that is full of equations or a text book, this is NOT for you
2. If you want a light-hearted and fun introduction to how math developed with cultures and customs, this book is fantastic--at least through chapter six. (It takes a turn afterwards and moves toward the number 3 point below.)
3. Remember the title of this book--that should indicate that the author is taking a concept (a simple mathematical one) and stretching the interpretation so that this concept becomes something more meaningful and awesome.
To accomplish number 3, the author takes liberties in analyzing and interpreting past events to create the "dangerous idea" through chapter 6. These are then synthesized into the final cosmological nature of this philosophically "dangerous idea" in the remaining chapters.
The final product was educational, fun, and thought-provoking.
- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Souvenir Press; Main edition (12 October 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0285635948
- ISBN-13: 978-0285635944
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 259 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)