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The Triumph of Numbers: How Counting Shaped Modern Life

Popular Science

By: IB Cohen

W.W. Norton & Co.

Paperback | Aug 2006 | #161062 | ISBN: 0393328708
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NHBS Price: £11.99 $15/€13 approx
Hardback | Dec 2005 | #161061 | ISBN: 0393057690
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NHBS Price: £17.99 $22/€20 approx

About this book

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 - for example, in taxes or 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 analysed. Cohen shines a new light on familiar figures such as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Carlyle 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.

Brief, lively, and highly entertaining. The New York Times"

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I.B. COHEN (1914-2003), the author of numerous books, founded the History of Science Department at Harvard University.

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