“Mathematics is not a careful march down a well-cleared highway, but a journey into a strange wilderness, where the explorers often get lost.”-- Mathematics historian W. S. Anglin From the internationally bestselling author of Fermat's Last Theorem comes a landmark publication on the eccentric lives of the foremost mathematicians in history. From Archimedes' eureka moment to Alexander Grothendieck's seclusion in the Pyrenees, bestselling author Amir Aczel selects the most compelling stories in the history of mathematics, creating a colorful narrative that explores the quirky personalities behind some of the most groundbreaking, enduring theorems. This is not your dry “college textbook” account of mathematical history; it bristles with tales of duels, battlefield heroism, flamboyant arrogance, pranks, secret societies, imprisonment, feuds, theft, and some very costly errors of judgment. (Clearly, genius doesn't guarantee street smarts.) Ultimately, readers will come away entertained, and with a newfound appreciation of the tenacity, complexity, eccentricity, and brilliance of the mathematical genius.