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Perfect Figures: The Lore of Numbers and How…

Perfect Figures: The Lore of Numbers and How We Learned to Count

by Bunny Crumpacker

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To Karla Kuskin Bell And all our years
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One is the beginning, the single starting place.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312360053, Hardcover)

Since the beginning of civilization, numbers have been more than just a way to keep count. Perfect Figures tells the stories of how each number came to be and what incredible associations and superstitions have been connected to them ever since. Along the way are some of the great oddities of numbers' past as:
-a time when finger-counting was a sign of intelligence (the Venerable Bede could count to a million on his hands)
-the medieval Algorists, who were burnt at the stake for their use of Arabic rather than Roman numerals
-the Bank of England, which stubbornly kept accounts on notched wooden sticks until 1826
Filled with Crumpacker's eloquent wit and broad intelligence, Perfect Figures brings the history of numbers to life just as Bill Bryson did for the English language in The Mother Tongue.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:50 -0400)

A witty, informative look at numbers examines the origins and evolution of each number, as well as the unique associations, oddities, superstitions, and meanings that have been connected to them, offering a fascinating look at the Bank of England, which kept accounts on notched wooden sticks until 1826, the era in which finger-counting was a sign of intelligence, and more.… (more)

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