What do you mean there's no chapter 0? Whether or not you think that's a deficit, A History of Mathematics more than makes up for it with its depth and engaging analysis of the development of the "flawless science." Historian Carl B. Boyer designed it as a practical textbook for communicating math's complex timelines to interested college students in 1968; Uta C. Merzbach has gently revised it to bring it in line with current thought. Much of the early chapters are untouched, with new 19th- and 20th-century chapters covering Boyer's omissions and new and revised references guiding the reader to additional resources.
From the origins of numbering to the future of computing, the authors strive for comprehensive examination and clear, simple explanations. Some of the math will daunt those who have never taken college-level courses (or have forgotten what they learned), but some of the more elaborate technical material can be skipped if needed. Especially helpful is the extensive timeline-appendix that proceeds from the beginning of time to the late 20th century. Whether you're using it to gain a better understanding of mathematics or to broaden your awareness of the historical record, A History of Mathematics will help you make sense of the wide world of numbers. --Rob Lightner [via]