OVERRIDE

Perfect Figures

The Lore of Numbers and How We Learned to Count

Bunny Crumpacker

Thomas Dunne Books

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.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Perfect Figures
1ONE IS ALLOne is the beginning, the single starting place. It's the universe at the big bang: There was that enormous event, that unthinkable noise, and suddenly, in a fraction of a second, whatever there was--had it been One?--had shattered. It became a billion million stars, galaxies after galaxies of stars, stars with planets and moons and meteors and asteroids, each one containing everything again, atoms and molecules, charm and quark, and each thing--each atom, each galaxy--was still one, one again. One after one to infinity.At our own beginning, there were no numbers,
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REVIEWS

Praise for Perfect Figures

Praise for The Sex Life of Food:
"[A] sly meditation on the delicious and dirty convergences of sustenance and psyche."
--The Washington Post Book World
"A buffet of facts...served with saucy humor....Hilarious."
--The Wall Street Journal
"[A] sweeping look at how food, sex, and desire are intertwined. A"
--Entertainment Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Bunny Crumpacker

  • BUNNY CRUMPACKER is the author of The Sex Life of Food, as well as two books based on historic food and recipe pamphlets. Her book reviews appear in The Washington Post. She lived in Valley Cottage, New York.
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Available Formats and Book Details

Perfect Figures

The Lore of Numbers and How We Learned to Count

Bunny Crumpacker

  • e-Book

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Thomas Dunne Books

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