Short works

Books : reviews

Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos H. Papadimitriou.
Logicomix: an epic search for truth.
Bloomsbury. 2009

rating : 3.5 : worth reading
review : 26 December 2010

This is the story of Bertrand Russell's quest to put mathematics on a solid foundation of logic, from his childhood, his discovery of the famous set-theoretic paradox named after him, his work on Principia Mathematica with Whitehead to overcome this problem, up to Kurt Godel's devastating incompleteness theorem that such was impossible. The comic format requires the story to be boiled down to its essence: that is achieved rather well (although necessitating some trickery with history, there's no apparent trickery with logic). There's an intriguing underlying theme of madness: do so many logicians go mad because of their work, or do they turn to the absolute truths of logic in an attempt to avoid madness?