Cover: The History of Statistics: The Measurement of Uncertainty before 1900, from Harvard University PressCover: The History of Statistics in PAPERBACK

The History of Statistics

The Measurement of Uncertainty before 1900

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Product Details


$42.00 • £33.95 • €38.00

ISBN 9780674403413

Publication Date: 03/01/1990

Academic Trade

432 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

28 halftones, 25 line illustrations

Belknap Press


One is tempted to say that the history of statistics in the nineteenth century will be associated with the name Stigler.—Morris Kline, The New York Times Book Review

An exceptionally searching, almost loving, study of the relevant inspirations and aberrations of its principal characters James Bernoulli, de Moivre, Bayes, Laplace, Gauss, Quetelet, Lexis, Galton, Edgeworth, and Pearson, not neglecting a grand supporting cast… The definitive record of an intellectual Golden Age, an overoptimistic climb to a height not to be maintained.—M. Stone, Science

In this tour de force of careful scholarship, Stephen Stigler has laid bare the people, ideas, and events underlying the development of statistics… He has written an important and wonderful book… Sometimes Stigler’s prose is so evocative it is almost poetic.—Howard Wainer, Contemporary Psychology

The book is a pleasure to read: the prose sparkles; the protagonists are vividly drawn; the illustrations are handsome and illuminating; the insights plentiful and sharp. This will remain the definitive work on the early development of mathematical statistics for some time to come.—Lorraine J. Daston, Journal of Modern History

Stigler’s book exhibits a rare combination of mastery of technical materials, sensitivity to conceptual milieu, and near exhaustive familiarity with primary sources. An exemplary study.—Lorraine Daston

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