The Man who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdös and the Search for Mathematical Truth

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Fourth Estate, 1998 - Mathematicians - 301 pages
22 Reviews
The biography of a mathematical genius. Paul Erdos was the most prolific pure mathematician in history and, arguably, the strangest too. 'A mathematical genius of the first order, Paul Erdos was totally obsessed with his subject -- he thought and wrote mathematics for nineteen hours a day until he died. He travelled constantly, living out of a plastic bag and had no interest in food, sex, companionship, art -- all that is usually indispensible to a human life. Paul Hoffman, in this marvellous biography, gives us a vivid and strangely moving portrait of this singular creature, one that brings out not only Erdos's genius and his oddness, but his warmth and sense of fun, the joyfulness of his strange life.' Oliver Sacks For six decades Erdos had no job, no hobbies, no wife, no home; he never learnt to cook, do laundry, drive a car and died a virgin. Instead he travelled the world with his mother in tow, arriving at the doorstep of esteemed mathematicians declaring 'My brain is open'. He travelled until his death at 83, racing across four continents to prove as many theorems as possible, fuelled by a diet of espresso and amphetamines. With more than 1,500 papers written or co-written,

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Review: The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdős and the Search for Mathematical Truth

User Review  - Choc Sarao - Goodreads

The colorful life of Paul Erdos, the most prolific mathematician of his time. He co-wrote over 1400 papers with hundreds of collaborators over a span of 7 decades. His genius was undeniable, but he is ... Read full review

Review: The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdős and the Search for Mathematical Truth

User Review  - Gospodyina - Goodreads

I literally found myself reading sections of this aloud to non-mathy people, and they genuinely liked it as well. I think. Read full review

About the author (1998)

Paul Hoffman is an American intellectual who has devoted much of his professional life to making the work of serious scholars available to the general public. Hoffman has served as editor of Discover magazine and publisher of Encyclopaedia Brittanica. He has also contributed to such television programs as CBS Sunday Morning and PBS' News Hour with Jim Lehrer. Hoffman's books include Archimedes' Revenge and The Man who Loved Only Numbers, a popular biography of the mathematician Paul Erdos.

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