The Measure of Manhattan: The Tumultuous Career and Surprising Legacy of John Randel, Jr. Cartographer, Surveyor, Inventor
by Marguerite Holloway
W. W. Norton, 2013 ($26.95)

Holloway, a former editor at SA, uses the little-known story of the man behind Manhattan's street grid to talk about larger issues surrounding urban planning and the way humans “tame” the natural world. The grid's geometry reflected a belief at the time that math could elevate society.