A Mathematician's Apology

By G.H. Hardy,

Book cover of A Mathematician's Apology

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Why read it?

1 author picked A Mathematician's Apology as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I read this in one gulp at the age of sixteen, but it has remained part of my mental furniture to this day. There is a story from the First World War of a Cambridge don accosted in the street with a demand to explain why he was not at the front. "Madam, I am the civilisation they are fighting to preserve." Written in a very dark time, it is a celebration of the value of intellectual endeavour independent of practical utility. Beautifully written it gives genuine insight into the nature of mathematical thought.

From T.W.'s list on mathematical life.

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