The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero

Zero is silently omnipresent in our lives in almost every way, but it has had to overcome numerous obstacles over the centuries. Robert Kaplan tells us how nothingness gradually came into being, opening its way across skeptical civilizations that resisted the idea, viewed as useless devilish sorcery.
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Indians, Mayans, Egyptians, Greeks, Sumerians, Babylons... they all struggled with the concept. But due to its practical convenience, zero prevailed along with positional notation, thus making Mathematics evolve into a much more effective tool and a majestic science (or is it an art?).
The second half of the book is devoted to exploring zero and its consequences, hence highlighting its importance in our time, as well as to playing around with it and to philosophical questions.
The review of this Book prepared by Andres Becerra

Chapter Analysis of The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero

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Kind Of History

Time of history:    -   History of mankind Nationality?    -   MANKIND History of a science?    -   Yes Kind of science    -   Math

Subjects of this Historical Account

Is the portrayal sympathetic?    -   Neutral Intelligence of subject of history:    -   Smart


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Greece    -   Germany    -   France Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   India Africa    -   Yes Part of Africa:    -   Arabic Africa

Writing Style

How much gore?    -   2 () How fast-paced is the book?    -   2 () Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Book makes you feel...    -   encouraged How much focus on stories of individuals?    -   Focuses mostly on the people/nation level Is this a kid's book?    -   Ages 16-Adult Pictures/Illustrations?    -   A handful Length of book    -   201-250 pages

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Robert Kaplan Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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