• The Art of More

  • How Mathematics Created Civilization 
  • By: Michael Brooks
  • Narrated by: Nick Afka Thomas
  • Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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The Art of More  By  cover art

The Art of More

By: Michael Brooks
Narrated by: Nick Afka Thomas
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Publisher's summary

An illuminating, millennia-spanning history of the impact mathematics has had on the world, and the fascinating people who have mastered its inherent power, from Babylonian tax officials to the Apollo astronauts to the eccentric professor who invented the infrastructure of the online world.

Counting is not innate to our nature, and without education humans can rarely count past three - beyond that, it’s just “more”. But once harnessed by our ancestors, the power of numbers allowed humanity to flourish in ways that continue to lead to discoveries and enrich our lives today.  

Ancient tax collectors used basic numeracy to fuel the growth of early civilization, navigators used clever geometrical tricks to engage in trade and connect people across vast distances, astronomers used logarithms to unlock the secrets of the heavens, and their descendants put them to use to land us on the moon. In every case, mathematics has proved to be a greatly underappreciated engine of human progress.  

In this captivating, sweeping history, Michael Brooks acts as our guide through the ages. He makes the case that mathematics was one of the foundational innovations that catapulted humanity from a nomadic existence to civilization, and that it has since then been instrumental in every great leap of humankind. Here are ancient Egyptian priests, Babylonian bureaucrats, medieval architects, dueling Swiss brothers, and renaissance painters. Their stories clearly demonstrate that the invention of mathematics was every bit as important to the human species as was the discovery of fire. From first moment to last, The Art of More brings mathematics back into the heart of what it means to be human.

Includes a downloadable PDF of formulas, illustrations, and a table from the book 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2022 Michael Brooks (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"[A] savvy study. . . . Brooks describes a point when a person hits their 'mathematical limit' and gets overloaded, and encourages readers to avoid that feeling by approaching math with a sense of awe. He expertly maintains that spirit throughout. . . . It’s a show-stopping paean to the wonder of numbers."Publishers Weekly (starred)

"An eye-opening survey of the real world application of mathematics. . . . Challenging the all-too-common view of mathematics as a boring subject irrelevant to genuine life interests, Brooks unfolds numerous compelling examples showing that mathematics empowers people who perform labors that benefit millions. . . . Behind the powerful formulas, readers also glimpse the often deeply flawed character of the mathematicians who developed them, prompting serious reflection on the need for human wisdom in applying their work. A potent reminder of how mathematics has shaped the modern world."Booklist (starred) 

“What is the driving force behind the development of human civilization? In this unique and surprising book, Michael Brooks makes the case that it is the growth and progress of mathematics—and he does it in a way that will be interesting to the mathematical and math-phobic alike! As entertaining as it is informative, The Art of More takes us on a journey through the ages, demonstrating how mathematics played a crucial role in the evolution of how we live. Not since Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel has there been such an insightful and compelling analysis of how we got here.”—Leonard Mlodinow, New York Times bestselling author of The Drunkard’s Walk 

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Wow!

Thank you Audible for giving me a wonderful tool to help me enjoy this book!

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Weird Criticisms

Maybe I'm upset he doesn't like the same people as me, or just my perception (mistaken or otherwise) that he sees disagreeableness as a negative trait.

I figured he had the view he explained at the end of the book by ch. 2. However Ramanujan was an Indian sought out by a British mathematician, 4 Chan is published in mathematics for solving the Haruhi problem, and Children learn very complex Math to play video games.

Math is very much available to everyone, and has been for a while. More on video games; it has a crazy amount of mathematical analysis done to optimize speedruns, catch cheaters, and plan competitive strategies. Look up Dream Minecraft Math for an example.

Even the examples he gave of people excluded from universities were sought out by the mathematicians that worked at the institutions.

Perhaps it's because Mathematicians could be prideful and competitive, but all good mathematicians deep down know they have to confront their criticisms. So as critical they can be of someone, the honesty of the criticism (correct or not) in a way justifies it.


Also if they could save the page of the PDF as I progress the book and give me a labeled PDF to lookup that would be great. (Look at Fig. 1.10, every math textbook has that and it would make the audiobook much easier to follow).

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Excellent Virtual Tour!

Thank you for doing all the heavy lifting in explaining math concepts in a very comprehensible manner!

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