Monday, April 11, 2016

Joseph Mazur

Joseph Mazur is an emeritus professor of mathematics at Marlboro College, and the author of several popular mathematics books, including the highly acclaimed Enlightening Symbols: A Short History of Mathematical Notation and Its Hidden Powers and What's Luck Got to Do with It?: The History, Mathematics, and Psychology of the Gambler's Illusion.

Mazur's new book is Fluke: The Math and Myth of Coincidence.
I just finished the 800-page novel, The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter, by Kia Corthron. I don’t usually read thick novels, but Ms. Corthron is a friend, and my loyalty to friends extends to reading their works. It does not extend to my opinions. So I can tell you, by what I believe to be a moderately unbiased opinion, that this is the most meaningful novel I’ve read in many years. It is a page-turning piece of American history of race relations that starts in 1941 and ends in 2010. The lives of two black brothers from a small town in Maryland develop alongside the lives of two white brothers from rural Alabama. Those lives collide in an emotional thunderstorm, untold but hinted at for most of the book. I thought I knew something about race before reading Ms. Corthron’s novel. Reading The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter opened the curtain to a new understanding of the complexities of race at the time of my childhood and now. This recently released, easy to read novel should be a contender for a Pulitzer. I hope that will happen.
Visit Joseph Mazur's website and read about his five best books on gambling.

The Page 99 Test: What's Luck Got to Do with It?.

--Marshal Zeringue