9780393328707 198

The Triumph of Numbers

How Counting Shaped Modern Life

August 2006


From the pyramids to mortality tables, Galileo to Florence Nightingale, a vibrant history of numbers and the birth of statistics.

The great historian of science I. B. Cohen explores how numbers have come to assume a leading role in science, in the operations and structure of government, in marketing, and in many other aspects of daily life. Consulting and collecting numbers has been a feature of human affairs since antiquity—taxes, head counts for military service—but not until the Scientific Revolution in the twelfth century did social numbers such as births, deaths, and marriages begin to be analyzed. Cohen shines a new light on familiar figures such as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Charles Dickens; and he reveals Florence Nightingale to be a passionate statistician. Cohen has left us with an engaging and accessible history of numbers, an appreciation of the essential nature of statistics.


"This book will inform and enlighten you. . . . [Cohen] paints a vivid picture of the rise of statistics." — Tom Korner, American Scientist

"Brief, lively, and highly entertaining." — William Grimes, New York Times

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    Science and the Founding Fathers: Science in the Political Thought of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and James Madison

    I. Bernard Cohen

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    General readers, students of American history, and professional historians alike will profit from reading this engaging presentation of an aspect of American history conspicuously absent from the...
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    Isaac Newton, I. Bernard Cohen, Richard S. Westfall

    First Edition, Paperback, 1995

    At last—an illuminating and accessible edition of Isaac Newton's writings, intended for nonspecialist readers. I. Bernard Cohen and Richard S. Westfall have meticulously collected representative...
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    The Birth of a New Physics

    I. Bernard Cohen

    Revised And Updated, Paperback, 1985

    The earth circles the sun every year and rotates on its axis every twenty-four hours. The earth does not stand still.



142 x 208 mm • 212 pages


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