Mathematicians would have no method of describing the acceleration of a motorcycle or the influence of gravity on thrown balls and distant planets if it weren’t for calculus or proving that a man could walk a room and finally touch the opposite wall if it weren’t for calculus.

This stunning book by a writer of fantastic clarity and stylistic brio explores how calculus makes these things conceivable and, in doing so, discovers a relationship between real numbers and the real world.

Berlinski examines the farthest implications of his subject, explaining how calculus reconciles the precision of numbers with the fluidity of the changing cosmos, even as he introduces us to the complexities of real numbers, functions, and limits.