Archimedes

Mathematicians at war

Volterra and his French colleagues in World War I

Authors: Mazliak, Laurent, Tazzioli, Rossana

  • Provides an inside look at exceptional documents
  • Details the situation of Italy during WWI, which is hardly known abroad
  • Serves as an invaluable source for questioning the role of intellectuals in politics
  • Fills gaps in the biography of the mathematicians
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Buy this book

eBook $119.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-90-481-2740-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-2739-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-3137-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Numerous scientists have taken part in the war effort during World War I, but few gave it the passionate energy of the prominent Italian mathematician Volterra. As a convinced supporter of the cause of Britain and France, he struggled vigorously to carry Italy into the war in May 1915 and then developed a frenetic activity to support the war effort, going himself to the front, even though he was 55. This activity found an adequate echo with his French colleagues Borel, Hadamard and Picard. The huge correspondence they exchanged during the war, gives an extraordinary view of these activities, and raises numerous fundamental questions about the role of a scientist, and particularly a mathematician during WW I. It also offers a vivid documentation about the intellectual life of  the time ; Volterra’s and Borel’s circles in particular were extremely wide and the range of their interests was not limited to their field of specialization. The book proposes the complete transcription of the aforementioned correspondence, annotated with numerous footnotes to give details on the contents. It also offers a general historical introduction to the context of the letters and several complements on themes related to the academic exchanges between France and Italy during the war.

Reviews

From the reviews:

“The book under review, Volume 22 in the series, is a fascinating investigation into the relations between Italy and France … in the context of the ‘war to end all war,’ World War I. … of interest to mainstream mathematicians … . Mathematicians at War … succeeds incomparably well in bringing toady’s reader into this watershed episode of history. … is good historical scholarship, fitting well under the rubrics of the Archimedes series.” (Michael Berg, The Mathematical Association of America, April, 2010)

“Mathematicians at war appears indeed amid a surge of interest for the rôle of mathematicians in the World war I, especially in France. Mazliak has been quite active in this scholarly effort and the material he and Tazzioli have provided here is a contribution for which all students concerned with this issue will undoubtedly be grateful.” (Jean-Guy Prévost, BSHM Bulletin, Vol. 26, 2011)

“This very readable book fits well into the various large scale research on scientists, in particular mathematicians in World War I, their experiences and activities as well as the consequences for their disciplines. … All the documents have plenty of thorough comments providing the reader with all necessary facts to put the activities of the four scientists in the right context. … The book ends with a list of references containing 58 items, and a name index.”­­­ (Karl-Heinz Schlote, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2011 c)

“The objective of the book is to present the posture, concerns and hesitation of the four friends about World War I. Considerations of these four eminent mathematicians about the concept of war and about the righteousness and interests of joining the war are present in this correspondence. … This is a very original book, of much interest to those interested in the attitude of specialists, in this case mathematicians, face to a global threat, such as a major war.” (Ubiratan D’Ambrosio, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1201, 2011)


Table of contents (10 chapters)

  • What Is this Book About?

    Mazliak, Laurent (et al.)

    Pages 3-7

  • The Protagonists

    Mazliak, Laurent (et al.)

    Pages 9-12

  • Italy and France at the Eve of WW1

    Mazliak, Laurent (et al.)

    Pages 13-16

  • Vito Volterra and his institutional activity

    Mazliak, Laurent (et al.)

    Pages 17-19

  • Volterra and Italian Interventionism Between 1914 and 1915

    Mazliak, Laurent (et al.)

    Pages 21-32

Buy this book

eBook $119.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-90-481-2740-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-2739-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-3137-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Mathematicians at war
Book Subtitle
Volterra and his French colleagues in World War I
Authors
Series Title
Archimedes
Series Volume
22
Copyright
2009
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-90-481-2740-5
DOI
10.1007/978-90-481-2740-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-90-481-2739-9
Softcover ISBN
978-94-007-3137-0
Series ISSN
1385-0180
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 194
Number of Illustrations and Tables
10 b/w illustrations
Topics