"This short, delightful book is essential reading for those educated in the liberal arts who have never had the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of mathematics and physics." ... "His seamless development leads the reader almost effortlessly from the early efforts of the ancients to measure the earth through the open problems in modern cosmology. Strongly recommended."
Harold D. Shane
"as lucid, comprehensible, and engaging as will be found in this category of scientific writing."
New York Times
"There have been many books on how the universe expanded into its present shape from the big bang. But I have seen none that so successfully help us stretch our minds so that we can see expanding space curved somewhat like the surface of Earth, but in three dimensions rather than two, and with the added fourth dimension, time."
David N. Schramm
Los Angeles Times
"Wow. This short book manages to pack a lot in. It is the story of how civilization discovered -- long before Columbus -- that the earth is round (even though it looks flat) and, by analogy, how scientists discovered that the universe is curved (even though it, too, looks flat). ... Throughout, Osserman keeps in mind the sheer beauty of these discoveries."
The Wall Street Journal
"Mr. Osserman justly calls Riemann's spherical universe 'one of the most original and radical departures from the standard world-view in the history of scince.' And through a series of deft analogies -- drawing on everything from the history of cartography to Dante's 'Divine Comedy' -- he gets the reader to appreciate its extraordinary power and elegance." ... "conveys just the right amount of mathematics -- enough so that you can start to savor the poetry of the universe in its original language."
South Bend Tribune
"this is an enlightening, informative and gracious introduction to the universe. Certainly to be read by every student of mathematics, it should be required by anyone who wishes to have a greater understanding of mankind, our genius and our possibilities."
"With the elegance of a mathematical proof, ... provides a brilliant synthesis of the history of mathematical representation. Happily for students of non-mathematical disciplines, Osserman deploys straightforward analogies, accompanied by clear and simple graphical illustrations, to describe practices and concepts ranging from ancient Egypt to the present."
Charlie La Via
The Professional Geographer
"Osserman's all too brief journey through the imagination carries the reader by leaps and bounds from cartography to mathematics to astronomy to physics and back again." ... "should be a required supplementary book for any cartography course or course in geographic information systems." ... "this stimulating book is elegantly and cleverly done; it is a must for anyone in the spatial sciences."
Sandra Lach Arlinghaus
Australian Mathematical Society Gazette
"... a wonderful book, clear and honest in its aims and beautifully written."
Last updated 4/1 /98, Marlon Urias