Euler: The Master of Us All

Time and time again, we find ourselves grappling with the daunting task of identifying the bests – whether it’s baseball players or musical compositions. The abundance of exceptional choices makes it nearly impossible to reach a consensus on the matter.

In his latest masterpiece, Bill Dunham embarks on yet another adventure of selecting the finest works of Euler from a staggering collection of over 800 works and 35,000 pages. Dunham, renowned for his highly acclaimed book, Journey through Genius, where he narrowed down the field to twelve remarkable theorems in mathematics, proves himself once again with Euler: The Master of Us All.

Delving into eight distinct mathematical fields, including Number Theory, Logarithms, Infinite Series, Analytic Number Theory, Complex Variables, Algebra, Geometry, and Combinatorics, Dunham weaves together a riveting narrative that both educates and captivates. This concise, yet tantalizing book, comprising of eight thought-provoking chapters, a captivating Biographical Sketch, and an intriguing Conclusion, leaves readers yearning for more. Dunham astutely acknowledges the vastness of Euler’s contributions, admitting, “I have omitted virtually ALL of Euler’s work,” and pondering the multitude of potential books that could be written by countless authors.

Each chapter follows a structured format, opening with a Prologue that sets the stage, followed by an exploration of Euler’s invaluable contributions under the section “Enter Euler.” The chapter concludes with an Epilogue that sheds light on subsequent results, offers modern proofs of Euler’s findings, or provides glimpses into related work by Euler.

Of course, Dunham had to make choices and sacrifices, omitting certain aspects. However, the allure of the other forty-nine potential books about Euler’s prodigious work beckons readers to explore further. Although these books do not currently exist, particularly in English, there are already exceptional publications on other mathematical luminaries such as Newton, Cantor, Fermat, Descartes, Hilbert, and more.

And now, we have a magnificent book dedicated to Euler, Euler: The Master of Us All, solidifying his position as one of the greatest mathematicians in history.