Counting: Humans

Counting by Benjamin Wardhaugh

$37.00 Inc GST

What has counting meant to different cultures and different individuals?

In this book, historian and mathematician Benjamin Wardhaugh explores stories from all over the world and from every period of human history, from the African Stone Age to cyberspace; from Assyrian kings to Chinese peasants.

Weaving these histories together, Wardhaugh shows the ways in which counting has been continually reinvented over time, through language, writing, counters and machines. He illustrates how counting has shaped culture, and culture has shaped counting, in a vast story as wide, deep, and tangled as the story of human culture: the story of human attempts to find some order in an unruly world; or, perhaps, to impose on a reluctant world the order that humans find within themselves.

About the Author: Benjamin Wardhaugh is a Fity-pound Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. His research focuses on the history of numeracy and mathematics, and the ways mathematics influences and is a part of cultures. His work focuses mainly on topics in early modern Britain, including mathematical music theory in that period. He has taught in both the Mathematical Institute and the History Faculty. He is the author of several previous educational books.

18 Jul 2024

Additional information


Paperback / softback


Oral history

Readership Level

General (US: Trade)



Publication Date

18 Jul 2024

Counting: Humans, History and the Infinite Lives of Numbers by Benjamin Wardhaugh ISBN 9780008436476

8 in stock (can be backordered)