A Mathematician's ApologyG. 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 
 
4 stars 
 
3 stars 
 
2 stars 
 
1 star 

Review: A Mathematician's Apology
User Review  GoodreadsHardy's essay itself was just okay, probably because he wasn't trying to convince me of anything I didn't believe already. The introduction (foreword? preface?) by CP Snow was interesting and ... Read full review
Review: A Mathematician's Apology
User Review  Goodreads"The mathematician's patterns, like the painter's or the poet's must be beautiful; the ideas like the colours or the words, must fit together in a harmonious way. Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics." Read full review
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 
Other editions  View all
Common terms and phrases
Aeschylus aesthetic Alan St Aubyn ambition Apology applied mathematics arithmetic beautiful Bertrand Russell better Bradman C. P. SNOW called Cambridge career chess problem collaboration comfort creative cricket deal deﬁne deﬁnite difﬁcult diﬂicult English Euclid’s theorem Euclidean geometry example Fenner’s ﬁgures ﬁnd ﬁne ﬁnest ﬁt ﬁve friends G. H. HARDY genius Greek Greek mathematics happy Hardy Hardy’s human integers intellectual justiﬁed kind knew lecture less Littlewood mathematical beauty mathematical ideas mathematical proof mathematical reality mathematical theorem matician matics modern never OLD BRANDY once Oxford particular pattern physicists physiology play poet poetry prime numbers professional proof pure geometry pure mathematics Pythagoras Pythagoras’s theorem question Ramanujan real mathe real mathematician real mathematics real tennis reﬂection rooms scientiﬁc seems sense serious signiﬁcant suppose talent theory of numbers things thought tician tion Trinity Tripos trivial trivial mathematics Whitehead word Wrangler young Einstein young man’s