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The Man Who Knew Infinity

Paperback
Language: English
Length: 448 Pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Rs. 599 29% Off
Rs. 422
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The Man Who Knew Infinity (Paperback) Price: Rs.422

This is the biography of a mathematical prodigy- Srinivasa Ramanujan, whose inhibited genius finally came to recognition when he stepped into Europe.


Summary Of The Book


Srinivasa Ramanujan was an enigma during his lifetime and continues to be one, even today. Ramanujan was born into a poor Brahmin family in Madras, and his parents were financially unable to support him after his initial schooling, which is one of life’s little ironies, since his contributions to the world of mathematics are inspiring and brilliant.


Kanigel doesn’t stop with focusing on the protagonist, and provides a peek into the setting in which Ramanujan was groomed and raised. He describes how the education system in India works, the orthodox nature of Ramanujan’s family, and his premature marriage to a very young girl.


He takes readers through how, after writing to many mathematicians and several failed attempts to make himself heard, luck finally aided Ramanujan when G.H. Hardy, an English mathematician, realized his gift. Ramanujan received a scholarship to continue with his study and research in the field of Pure Mathematics. Hardy managed to get him to England, where Ramanujan worked closely with him and other Cambridge mathematicians.


Kanigel also acquaints the world with the canons that guide the Indian society, and in Ramanujan’s case, all these hampered with his mathematical explorations. Unable to comply with cultural norms, he became a social outcast. An arranged marriage to a minor, who suffered a great deal under his mother’s ill-treatment, left him in a state of anxiety and distress.


Unfortunately, in England, he contracted tuberculosis and his battle against the disease deterred his further discoveries. He succumbed to the illness at the early age of 32. It is to be noted that some of his unfinished work is still being analyzed by mathematicians.


The Man Who Knew Infinity was written by Robert Kanigel in the year 1991. The verity of the information provided in the biography evinces extensive research and the book received and continues to receive positive reviews in India and abroad.


About Robert Kanigel


Robert Kanigel is a Brooklyn-born biographer and science writer. After completing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, he began freelance writing in 1970 and published his first book in 1986.


Kanigel’s writings, however, are not confined to books, and he has published over 400 articles, essays and reviews, appearing in magazines like Johns Hopkins Magazine, Baltimore Sun, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Science 85, and Human Behavior. As an author, he wrote many books, including Apprentice To Genius: The Making of a Scientific Dynasty, The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency, High Season: How One French Riviera Town Has Seduced Travelers for Two Thousand Years, and On An Irish Island.


Kanigel’s books are commended for their well-researched and detailed content and are considered lively and interesting to read.
Robert Kanigel was born on 28 May, 1946, and studied in New York. Later, he went on to become professor of science writing at MIT and directed a Graduate Program in Writing for 7 years. In 1999, Kanigel returned to Baltimore to pick up his writing full time and began working on a biography of Jane Jacobs.

Specifications of The Man Who Knew Infinity (Paperback)

Book Details
Publisher Little, Brown Book Group
Imprint Abacus
Publication Year 1992
ISBN-13 9780349104522
ISBN-10 0349104522
Language English
Edition New edition
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 448 Pages
Dimensions
Width 127.0 inch
Height 360.0 inch
Depth 29 inch
Weight 29.0 g
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Book Reviews of The Man Who Knew Infinity

4.4
Average Rating
Based on 75 ratings
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Most Helpful Reviews (5 of 23)

17 November 09
first to review
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A magical story,brilliantly told

By far the best scientific biography I ever read.It's a magical story,of a person whose life and story almost sound mythical,a person who continues to be a source of inspiration for people around the world who are familiar with him.And it is a story told in a very engaging way by Robert Kanigel.The exhaustive research he did is remarkable. This book will captivate you and touch you and it will stay in your memory as one of the finest literary experiences you have had.And what is more,it is a very human tale.I've no hesitation in recommending that you buy this one immediately and maybe even gift it to others.

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9 of 10 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
02 February 14
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Probably the best biography out there on Ramanujan

I was driven to buy this book after the knowledge that they were going to make a movie on Ramanujan. Robert Kanigel's work is touted to be the most authoritative biography on Ramanujan and one can see it from the details he presents in this book. His narration got me hooked and after reading the initial few pages, I almost found it difficult to put the book down. I found the attention to detail in the presentation of the sights and sounds of the ancient town of Kumbakonam amazing. Considering most of the structures he describes stand today, the narrative almost transported me to the times of Ramanujan. The events surrounding Hardy and Ramanujan in England too make for interesting reading. I would emphatically say that the author has done an excellent job in simplifying the mathematics part of the book digestible to the reader. Having said all that, the book is not without its factual inaccuracies, especially in the part that recounts Ramanujan's childhood in great detail. But those are irrelevant in the broader context of what he unravels in this book - the genius that Ramanujan is, his belief systems, his eccentricity and his inspiration.

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★★★★★
★★★★★
10 January 14
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Highly Recommended!!!

“The Man who knew Infinity” – uffff… what a read, certainly one of the best books I ever read, a page turner for sure.

Yes the book is not of that good quality , the papers might come out in between, Having said that i still recommend every Indian to read it !!! It makes you feel proud that you are an Indian too..

The letters from an Indian clerk to the Fellow of Royal society( i.e G H Hardy) and eventually becoming an FRS himself over the next six years, and forced mathematicians around the world to be convinced that he was on par with greatest of mathematicians of all time (i.e Jacobi, Euler and Gauss)

It’s sad that he died young at the age of 32 L , as the other mathematicians would say he still went on to live for eternity in the field of Mathematics , his papers are still being studied, even 60-70 years after his death and his theorems and formulas are being applied in all sorts of fields you could ever imagine.

Yes the person I am talking about is our own Mr.Srinivasa Ramanujan a Fellow of Royal society and a Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge and a greatest mathematician of his time and most of all an Indian!!!

The way the foreign author has described the Indian scenes is just amazing. It feels as if it’s been written by an Indian himself.

I am just waiting for a movie which is being made on him both by Hollywood and the Indian Directors to be released over the coming years :-)

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★★★★★
★★★★★
04 September 12
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One of the best Scientific biographies..

This is among the finest books I have ever read and certainly the finest biography of Ramanujan.As one reviewer has pointed out,that it is an irony that it took a foreigner to bring us the story of Ramanujan in such illuminating depths.The story of Ramanujan's life appears as if taken out of a Hollywood rags-t-riches(Intellectual,i.e.)movie.
Robert Kanigel must have done a great deal of research before writing this book and it certainly shows.
The book also has another hero-G H Hardy who has been fairly devoted substantial portion of the volume.This because it is difficult to assess Ramanujan's legacy if we don't take into account Hardy's role in it and vice-versa.
Considering that the book is meant for popular reading,proper balance has been maintained in discussing Ramanujan's mathematics and Ramanujan,the person.
The natural follow up to this read would be G H Hardy's essay "A Mathematician's Apology"..

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★★★★★
★★★★★
17 February 12
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Amazing, moving.

It is sad that the best biography about an Indian mathematician had to be written by a foreigner. The book gives you a fascinating insight into Srinivasan Ramanujan's life. Interested in mathematics from early on, Ramanujan overcame all barriers, including a complete lack of formal mathematical training, to become one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century. The book explores Ramanujan's mind which worked very differently from an average 'great' mathematician. Focused on intuitive reasoning rather than rigorous proof, Ramanujan was often disregarded, only to be discovered later by Cambridge mathematician G.H.Hardy. Together until his very early demise, Ramanujan and Hardy performed some of the most exciting mathematics ever.
If you're a fan of scientific biographies, you NEED this in your collection.

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Most Recent Reviews

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★★★★★
★★★★★
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certified buyer
Interesting narration

The book, is written with a perfect blend of maths and life of Ramanujan, albiet i might not be a person to confirm all facts p...

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26 March 14
★★★★★
★★★★★
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Awesome book but poor page quality !!

Nothing to be commented on the story . But what a poor page quality at this level of high price!!! disappointed!

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11 March 14
★★★★★
★★★★★
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a must read for all math lovers

a must read for all math lovers.has all unknown facts about the acclaimed mathematician.
great service by flipkart.kudos...

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17 February 14
★★★★★
★★★★★
The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer
Probably the best biography out there on Ramanujan

I was driven to buy this book after the knowledge that they were going to make a movie on Ramanujan. Robert Kanigel's work is t...

Read More
02 February 14
★★★★★
★★★★★
The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer
Highly Recommended!!!

“The Man who knew Infinity” – uffff… what a read, certainly one of the best books I ever read, a page...

Read More
10 January 14
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    ISBN Number: 0349104522, 9780349104522, 978-0349104522

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