A Mathematician's Apology

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Mar 26, 2012 - Mathematics - 154 pages
37 Reviews
G. H. Hardy was one of this century's finest mathematical thinkers, renowned among his contemporaries as a 'real mathematician ... the purest of the pure'. He was also, as C. P. Snow recounts in his Foreword, 'unorthodox, eccentric, radical, ready to talk about anything'. This 'apology', written in 1940, offers a brilliant and engaging account of mathematics as very much more than a science; when it was first published, Graham Greene hailed it alongside Henry James's notebooks as 'the best account of what it was like to be a creative artist'. C. P. Snow's Foreword gives sympathetic and witty insights into Hardy's life, with its rich store of anecdotes concerning his collaboration with the brilliant Indian mathematician Ramanujan, his idiosyncrasies, and his passion for cricket. This is a unique account of the fascination of mathematics and of one of its most compelling exponents in modern times.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
11
4 stars
12
3 stars
9
2 stars
4
1 star
1

Review: A Mathematician's Apology

User Review  - Fiona - Goodreads

I nearly studied maths at university, because of this book. When I was sixteen, I was scared of the grades and numbers end of academia, and I was determined that whatever I was going to study - and it ... Read full review

Review: A Mathematician's Apology

User Review  - Rlotz - Goodreads

The first thing the reader of this book will notice is that Hardy is an excellent writer. Although he repeatedly insists that his only talent lay in his mathematical ability, it is clear that he is a ... Read full review

All 11 reviews »

Related books

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
73
Section 2
77
Section 3
82
Section 4
99
Section 5
105
Section 6
128
Section 7
133
Section 8
136
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Trained as a physicist and at one time a fellow in physics at Cambridge University, C. P. Snow wrote a number of papers on the problems of molecular structure. He was knighted in 1957 for his important work in organizing scientific personnel for the Ministry of Labour during World War II and for his services as a civil service commissioner. Snow's Variety of Men (1967), biographical essays on nine men---including Albert Einstein, Robert Frost, and Joseph Stalin drew upon his professional experience in the worlds of science, literature, and public affairs. His sequence of novels, Strangers and Brothers, occupied him for more than 20 years. Strangers and Brothers, the first to be written in the series that bears its name, was published in Britain in 1940 and released in the United States in 1960. The 11-volume cycle relates the life story of a young British lawyer named Lewis Eliot, who is very much like Snow himself. Science and Government (1961) tells the story of the bitter wartime clash between two eminent British scientist-advisers to the government. The story has a moral and purpose---to show the need for more scientists and scientific foresight in government. Snow's view that society is split into two antagonistic groups, humanists and scientists, is discussed in The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution (1959). A violent transatlantic debate resulted when F. R. Leavis wrote a diatribe against Snow as a novelist and thinker for the Spectator. Snow was married to the novelist Pamela Hansford Johnson.

Bibliographic information