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See Inside Scientific American Volume 308, Issue 2

Recommended: The Measure of Manhattan

Books and recommendations from Scientific American
The Measure of Manhattan, book review, Marguerite Halloway



W.W. Norton

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.

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