1. Engaging in a Conversation
3. Trees of Knowledge
5. A List of Books
6. Calculus for the Believer
7. A New Female Mind
The fascinating true story of mathematician Maria Agnesi.
Massimo Mazzotti is a professor of the history of science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is the director of the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society. He is the editor of Knowledge as Social Order: Rethinking the Sociology of Barry Barnes.
Mazzotti's text is many things: well written, historically detailed, and descriptive. What stands out is his depiction of Maria Gaetana Agnesi as humble, kind, and mathematically talented.* Convergence *
A welcome contribution to both an understanding of Maria Agnesi and life in the 1700s.* Choice *
A nuanced and well-documented historical narrative that restores to us a key personage in eighteenth-century science and spirituality, combining cultural and political history with the history of the family.* Catholic Historical Review *
Mazzotti's book succeeds admirably in pushing beyond this summary judgment-the same that judges her curve 'insignificant'-to find in Agnesi's approach to mathematics a way to open a whole world of eighteenthcentury life and thought that supported her choices.* Isis *
Mazzotti's account of the rise and fall of a relatively non-gendered intellectual environment in the early eighteenth century thus sheds light on a rare instance in which the Catholic Church actually advocated women's equality. The strangeness of that phenomenon alone renders his work an interesting addition to the history of science.* British Journal for the History of Science *
This book is both a life and a times; it will have many readers.* American Historical Review *
Mazzotti's treatment of her is by far the most sophisticated biography that we have of this fascinating woman . . . His book is a cultural history of mathematics at its best.* Historia Mathematica *
The overall result is micro-history at its best, and a history of mathematics that is narrated, as it always should be, through the broader history of the people and places that made this particular science what it is.* The Mathematical Intelligencer *