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Thousands of years ago the inhabitants of Mesopotamia became the first to use numbers. Since then, mathematics has been unstoppable. It’s behind almost everything, from search-engines to cruise-control, from coffee-makers to timetables. But now that we hardly ever need to do arithmetic, how relevant is mathematics to everyday life?

Pluses and Minuses demonstrates the role mathematics plays in human endeavour. It answers questions such as: What is life without numbers? Is the usefulness of mathematics mere chance? How can we get a grip on uncertainty? Stefan Buijsman’s richly entertaining guide makes connections between philosophy, psychology and history, while explaining the wonderful world of mathematics for absolutely everyone.


An illuminating history of mathematics that also touches on fascinating philosophical questions surrounding maths.
Publishers Weekly