An entertaining, informative story about a technology that defined an era.
The hidden history of the pocket calculator — a device that ushered in modern mathematics, helped build the atomic bomb, and went with us to the moon –and the mathematicians, designers, and inventors who brought it to life.
Empire of the Sum: The Rise and Reign of the Pocket Calculator out now, published by W. W. Norton.
- In hardcover
- Buy the hardcover in the USA from Norton, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, Bookshop.org, Hudson, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target or Walmart.
- Buy Empire of the Sum for your Nook at Barnes & Noble; for your Kobo at Kobo.com; for your iPhone or iPad at Apple Books; or for your Kindle at Amazon (USA) or Amazon (UK).
- Audio book
- The English edition of Empire of the Sum is available as an audio book narrated by Elliot Fitzpatrick. You can find it at Kobo, Audible, audiobooks.com or wherever else you get your audiobooks.
Praise for Empire of the Sum:
His first book, “Shady Characters,” […] was praised by one reviewer as “erotica for grammar geeks.” To describe a calculator as “a symphony of solenoids and switches” (that would be an early, discarded model of what would become the Casio 14-A, which went on the market in 1975 for $1,347) may not be erotica, but it is good writing — and these days, the latter is rather more rare.
Keith Houston’s sprightly history aims to give the calculator the recognition it deserves as a stepping stone to the digital era […] all this is recounted with wry wit, plus numerous detours into mathematics, science and social history.
Walking readers from a 42,000-year-old counting aid to digital spreadsheets, the book provides a breezy mathematical history tour through the development of number systems, slide rules, mechanical calculators and microchips.
[An] enlightening history […] technical explanations are compellingly grounded in the people who invented them.
This thorough study explains complex technical advancements with wit and charm. Math lovers and history buffs will be equally entertained.
Fascinating […] a creation story of tech breakthroughs begetting first-of-their-kind digital calculators.