James Newman 十五年的精心制作， 精选了迄今为止世界上最天才的数学作品。（绝大多数是节选）从阿基米德，伽利略，笛卡尔到怀特海，罗素， 无奇不有，无所不包。 这套书的副标题是 A Small Library of the Literature of Mathematics from A'h'-mose the Scribe to Albert Einstein. 确确实实，这四卷书的包容量之大，足以称作一个小型的图书馆了。并且 James. R. Newman 还对每一节选作品做了详细的批注，解析，历史背景介绍等等，极大地帮助了读者对原文的理解。无论是数学的初学者，还是老谋深算的数学专业人士们，都可以由Newman的多达133部作品的选集中窥视到数学世界的奇妙。遗憾的是这套书出来了半个世纪了居然还没有中文译本。至少我是没有看到。
下面介绍一下编者 James. R. Newman. Newman 是畅销科普书作家，他的作品有 Mathematics and the Imagination, The World of Mathematics 等等。他是The New Republic 的高级编辑，也在《科学美国人》上常常发表作品。（就这一点我想就已经足以证明他的雄厚的科学功底了）
The essays are prefaced by Newman's perceptive commentaries that place them in historical context. These delightful and astute introductions make even the most complex mathematical concpets accessible to a wide range of readers.
A monumental four-volume reference 15 years in the making, The World of Mathematics was specially designed to make mathematics more accessible to the inexperienced. It comprises nontechnical essays on every aspect of the vast subject, including articles by and about scores of eminent mathematicians, as well as literary figures, economists, biologists, and many other eminent thinkers. This unique compendium includes the work of Archimedes, Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Gregor Mendel, Edmund Halley, Jonathan Swift, John Maynard Keynes, Henri Poincaré, Lewis Carroll, George Boole, Bertrand Russell, Alfred North Whitehead, John von Neumann, and many others. In addition, an informative commentary by distinguished scholar James R. Newman precedes each essay or group of essays, explaining their relevance and context in the history and development of mathematics.（美国亚马逊网站上的介绍）
Volume I (ISBN 41153-2; Parts I-IV) features a general survey of the nature of mathematics; historical and biographical information on prominent mathematicians throughout history; material on arithmetic, numbers, and the art of counting; and the mathematics of space and motion. Individual essays include "Gauss, the Prince of Mathematicians" by Eric Temple Bell; "Calculating Prodigies" by W. W. Rouse Ball; "The Seven Bridges of Königsburg" by Leonhard Euler; and more than 30 others. 768pp.
Volume II (ISBN 41150-8; Parts V-VII) covers the broad areas of mathematics and the physical world, mathematics and social science, and the laws of chance. Individual articles include "Mathematics of Motion" by Galileo Galilei; "Mathematics of Heredity," by Gregor Mendel; "Mathematics of Population and Food" by Thomas Robert Malthus; "Chance" by Henri Poincaré; "The Application of Probability to Conduct" by John Maynard Keynes; and dozens of others. 720pp.
Volume III (ISBN 41151-6; Parts VIII-XVII) contains essays on such topics as statistics and the design of experiments, group theory, the mathematics of infinity, the unreasonableness of mathematics, the vocabulary of mathematics, and mathematics as an art. Essays encompass "The Law of Large Numbers" by Jacob Bernoulli; "The Vice of Gambling and the Virtue of Insurance" by George Bernard Shaw; "Mathematics and the Metaphysicians" by Bertrand Russell; and 30 more. 624pp.
Volume IV (ISBN 41152-4; Parts XVIII-XXVI) considers such topics as mathematical machines; mathematics in warfare; a mathematical theory of art; mathematics of the good; mathematics in literature; mathematics and music; and amusements, puzzles, and fancies. Individual contributions include "Can a Machine Think?" by A. M. Turing; "Young Archimedes" by Aldous Huxley; "Mathematics of Music" by Sir James Jeans; "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles and Other Riddles" by Lewis Carroll; and two dozen more. 464pp. With its wealth of fascinating facts, abundance of anecdotes, and accessibility, this four-volume set will be exceptionally valuable to professional and amateur mathematicians alike. 1956 edition.