Were it not for the calculus, mathematicians would have no way to describe the acceleration of a motorcycle or the effect of gravity on thrown balls and distant planets, or to prove that a man could cross a room and eventually touch the opposite wall. Just how calculus makes these things possible and in doing so finds a correspondence between real numbers and the real world is the subject of this dazzling book by a writer of extraordinary clarity and stylistic brio. Even as he initiates us into the mysteries of real numbers, functions, and limits, Berlinski explores the furthest implications of his subject, revealing how the calculus reconciles the precision of numbers with the fluidity of the changing universe.

“An odd and tantalizing book by a writer who takes immense pleasure in this great mathematical tool, and tries to create it in others.”–New York Times Book Review

About A Tour of the Calculus

Were it not for the calculus, mathematicians would have no way to describe the acceleration of a motorcycle or the effect of gravity on thrown balls and distant planets, or to prove that a man could cross a room and eventually touch the opposite wall. Just how calculus makes these things possible and in doing so finds a correspondence between real numbers and the real world is the subject of this dazzling book by a writer of extraordinary clarity and stylistic brio. Even as he initiates us into the mysteries of real numbers, functions, and limits, Berlinski explores the furthest implications of his subject, revealing how the calculus reconciles the precision of numbers with the fluidity of the changing universe.

“An odd and tantalizing book by a writer who takes immense pleasure in this great mathematical tool, and tries to create it in others.”–New York Times Book Review

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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About David Berlinski

David Berlinksi was born in New York City. He received a B.A. degree from Columbia College and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. He has taught mathematics and philosophy at universities in the United States and France.

About David Berlinski

David Berlinksi was born in New York City. He received a B.A. degree from Columbia College and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. He has taught mathematics and philosophy at universities in the United States and France.

Product Details

Paperback | $16.95
Published by Vintage Jan 28, 1997| 352 Pages| 5-3/16 x 8| ISBN 9780679747888

Ebook | $13.99
Published by Vintage Apr 27, 2011| 352 Pages| ISBN 9780307789730