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Publisher's Summary

Through Euclid's Window Leonard Mlodinow brilliantly and delightfully leads us on a journey through five revolutions in geometry, from the Greek concept of parallel lines to the latest notions of hyperspace. Here is an altogether new, refreshing, alternative history of math revealing how simple questions anyone might ask about space -- in the living room or in some other galaxy -- have been the hidden engine of the highest achievements in science and technology.

Based on Mlodinow's extensive historical research; his studies alongside colleagues such as Richard Feynman and Kip Thorne; and interviews with leading physicists and mathematicians such as Murray Gell-Mann, Edward Witten, and Brian Greene, Euclid's Window is an extraordinary blend of rigorous, authoritative investigation and accessible, good-humored storytelling that makes a stunningly original argument asserting the primacy of geometry. For those who have looked through Euclid's Window, no space, no thing, and no time will ever be quite the same.

©2009 Leonard Mlodinow; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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Story

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Witty History of Math

If you could sum up Euclid's Window in three words, what would they be?

Witty Historical Survey

What other book might you compare Euclid's Window to and why?

Biography of Albert Einstein by Walter Isaacson would be a good companion to Euclid's Window. The historical perspective of Einstein's life and especially the detail about his difficulties with developing the Theory of Relativity through the politics and antisemitism help provide the skeleton of history provided in Euclid's Window with the fullness of flesh.

What does Robert Blumenfeld bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Blumenfeld's intelligible diction was reminiscent of a professors monologue with the inflection of entertainment and the confidence indicating a familiarity with the work. He was a perfect choice for this entertaining historical writing.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I particularly enjoyed the author's use of his two sons in demonstrating complex ideas. One particular scene is of Alexi as Einstein and Nicholas as Heisenberg in a heated discussion over whether small regions of space are flat if it is devoid of mass. Alexi says it should be but Nicholas taunts him with his principle of uncertainty causing fluctuations of gravity that belie flatness of space.

Any additional comments?

I am going to listen to the book a second time. I like the chronological approach to the development of the geometry. Truly it presents math as a natural philosophy based on the world and a desire to understand it. In the next reading of the text I am going to stop periodically to learn more in depth the concepts and supplement the reading with other writings.

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Unexpectedly funny one-liners accompany the facts

Any additional comments?

I love non fiction and learning about something new. I was very surprised at how clever the writing was in this book. Some one-liners downright had me laughing out loud. At one point, my brother (22 years old and a law student without much math or science in his background) sat through an hour long car ride in which I listened to this audio book, and even from a random point in the book, he found himself exclaiming in surprise at some interesting facts he learned, and laughing at the clever jokes and side comments.

I have to say that I learned something, but furthermore enjoyed learning it. It didn't feel tremendously technical or too plodding and long. It also explores the contributing social circumstances and history of the various mathematicians and scientists mentioned within its pages, which helps create a broad knowledge base on the topics at hand and about the people behind the discoveries as well.

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  • John
  • RENO, NV, United States
  • 03-19-13

Great Performance

Making Hyperbolic Geometry fun and interesting to the general reader deserves a great review. In the next edition replace "Jesuits" and "Franciscans" with "Benedictines" and give examples of (actual) modern geometrical reasoning in side boxes.

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  • Rupe
  • Jacksonville, FL, United States
  • 03-12-13

Really Loved it!!

What did you love best about Euclid's Window?

I really love both history and mathematics, so this was the perfect read for me.

In college, I was so focused on problem solving, I wasn't able to step away from the text to really delve into the story behind the Geometry. This read affords me that chance and has me going back to some of my old text and rediscovering what I really love about mathematics.

Very much recommended for anyone who loves history and is fascinated by mathematics ;-)!

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a Must Read

you are going to want to listen to this audiobook over and over, the actor reading is superb,
easy to understand how these mathematicians saw their world.

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  • Wayne
  • Temecula, CA, United States
  • 02-15-13

Keeping it real

What did you love best about Euclid's Window?

I liked the way the author covers the history of discoveries in physics and mathematics from Pythagoras and Euclid to Einstein and beyond. I'm just a layman and I actually got the gist of most of the math and physics. I now understand how the leap to hyperbolic geometry helped Einstein and others to describe relativity and how the universe works. The author explains how math and physics evolved through the efforts of many great thinkers leading up to Einstein. And he finishes with the current state of string theory.

What other book might you compare Euclid's Window to and why?

I also liked About Time and The Clockwork Universe because they give you a historical perspective of our understanding of the universe and our place in it.

What about Robert Blumenfeld’s performance did you like?

He read very well.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

  • Overall

Hard to Judge

Although the author discusses some interesting material, the narrator's voice makes it had for me to judge the style. He sounds pompous and arrogant, and what might has been good-natured humor as written by the author sounds snide and ill-natured. It is also true that geometry is not the best subject for an audio book. But I did choose it.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • gerry
  • milton, ON, Canada
  • 12-28-14

More Anti-Christian than a History of Geometry

The title is self explanatory. The Author was providing a detailed explanation on development of geometry and logical thought until took a strange turn. He decided to deliberately criticize and document the mistakes of Christianity in its infancy and through the middle ages. These are all well known and many books are dedicated to them. I was hoping to read an unbiased account of the history of geometry, but was treated to a diversionary treatise about the evils of my religion. The book could have made reference to the factual accounts of the church misdeeds without gloating or noting repeatedly how destructive it was. After all, hindsight is 20-20.

I believe that this book could have been written more objectively and still tell a great story, but unfortunately it seemed to be conveying two themes - one of which was not advertised and for me was a wasted credit.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Caleb
  • LOS OSOS, CA, United States
  • 01-22-11

Amazing Book - Poorly Read

I have an old copy of the audio cassettes in mp3 format but the copy was not that good so i found this site, created the account, payed and downloaded. The recording copy is great, however it is a different read. which is very disappointing. A waste of my money, i would rather hear the poor quality read then this persons read.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful