Reviews & Comments

Colorado Book Award Winner (General Nonfiction)
Winner — Mom’s Choice Award (Adult Nonfiction)
Eric Hoffer Award – First Runner-up (Nonfiction/Reference)

  • Listen to Jeff’s interview about Math for Life on Colorado Public Radio
  • (Coming Soon) Watch Jeff’s TV interview about Math for Life on Barry Kibrick’s “Between the Lines”
  • Watch Jeff’s keynote on Math for Life for the Kentucky Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges (KYMATYC)
  • Read Jeff’s author Q&A interview about Math for Life

“Should be required reading for every American. There’s no more powerful way to equip yourself for our increasingly complex and quantitative world than to read Math for Life. Every concept is presented in a clear and engaging way.”
— K. Shane Goodwin, Professor of Mathematics, Brigham Young University–Idaho

“A perfect book for every high school student, college student, parent, and teacher. Math for Life does an excellent job portraying the increasingly critical role of quantitative literacy in today’s rapidly changing global economy, and the new directions our math education system must face in order to produce quantitatively literate citizens.”
— Eric Gaze, Director of the Quantitative Reasoning Program, Bowdoin College

“This book should be required reading for all math teachers and high school students. I loved everything about the book inculding the format, sequence, quotes, diagrams, charts, tables, and questions to begin each chapter.”
— Brad Shonk, 2011 Mississippi Teacher of the Year

Math for Life is just as the title indicates! In a day of math phobia, math aversion, and worse, Dr. Bennett demonstrates the weaving of math into the fabric of our world and everyday existence. His examples and metaphors are creative and insightful and could be used as the text for a class on “real world mathematics.” Spend some time reading about the math in your life!”
Bob Feurer, 2011 Nebraska Teacher of the Year

“Full marks to Jeffrey Bennett for delivering exactly what his title promises. This is not the math your teacher (probably) said you would need in adult life but never did; it’s the math you know you need — but likely don’t have. It’s not a traditional textbook; it’s a how-to manual for clear thinking about the quantitative aspects of everyday life, bursting with intriguing, practical, real-life examples. I recommend it.”
— Keith Devlin, Ph.D., Stanford University, author of “The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci’s Arithmetic Revolution” and “The Math Gene,” and the Math Guy on National Public Radio.

“Both students and others wonder why we, as a society, require students to learn mathematics or why we even need it. Math for Life answers this question and reverses math aversion by explaining the quantitative aspects of everyday life, which turn out to be crucial for personal and national security. Mathematical knowledge is revealed to be an essential part of becoming an informed and effective citizen… I would recommend it to everyone.”
Ana Momidic-Reyna, for the Mathematical Association of America (click for full review)

“Sprinkled with illuminating examples, Math for Life presents issues critical to personal and national security—even survival—in clear and forthright terms. Underlying this important message is the obvious failure of U.S. mathematics education to meet the enormous quantitative reasoning demands of U.S. society. Jeffrey Bennett makes plain how current political and economic crises stem from this failure.”
— Bernard L. Madison, Professor of Mathematics, University of Arkansas

“Brilliantly illustrates the importance of numeracy in all aspects of life.”
— David Taylor, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Roanoke College

“An insightful look at the crucial role mathematics plays in understanding the complexities of today’s society… The author’s pleasant, conversational style shows that such insight can be developed without obscure or high-level computation… Any reader, but especially parents, politicians, and professional educators, would benefit from reading this book. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.
— Choice Magazine, reviewed by N. W. Schillow, Lehigh Carbon Community College

“I recommend this book as a resource for middle school and high school teachers who are looking for real-world project ideas or concrete examples to show students how concepts can be useful in their adult lives. Some chapters could make powerful cross-curricular units in the upper grades. … also useful for parents who struggle with motivating and helping their children see the value of mathematics.”
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, reviewed by Jamie Thurgood

“This book is much more than its title suggests.  Bennett highlights the math behind big, important topics: half-life of radioactive waste, population growth, energy consumption, the U.S. electoral system, the budget deficit, tax brackets, many others. He reminds us that, to make informed decisions about such things — and being political topics, we voters are ultimately on the hook — you’ve got to be able make sense of the numbers. Being a brilliant educator, Bennett helps us do that, and it’s really, really interesting to see how the numbers play out. But Bennett goes a step further. Rather than stopping after the equals sign, he makes policy recommendations based on the math he’s described to us (there are few equations in this volume). It’s not ideological, and it’s not mechanistic. Rather, it comes off as a dose of common sense atop compelling discussions of data. You find yourself nodding your head a lot. This is how policy should be done, and, I think, *would* be done if more people read “Math for Life” and held their elected officials accountable to the hard truths that numbers can provide.”
Todd Neff, author of From Jars to the Stars

“Math for Life is a well written book about how math affects us in our daily lives. Throughout the book I was reminded of the story of Stephen Hawking’s editors forcing him to remove all but one equation from A Brief History of Time. The author must have followed in the footsteps of Hawking, since equations are few and far between in this book! In reality the lack of equations makes the book more accessible to precisely the audience for whom the book is intended. The audience is a person that might have a math phobia or does not yet understand the importance of math in our world. Currently, there is a strong push to increase math literacy in colleges and high schools, this book would be a great text for such programs. There are a number of interesting chapters in the book; topics include managing your money, bank Loans, U.S. deficit and debt, the lottery, multiple choice questions, and energy math. These topics are presented in a creative, positive, and upbeat manner. Each chapter opens with a question followed by several answers in multiple choice format. The most obvious answer is not always the correct answer, and the text goes into discussions about each of the possible answers before presenting the correct one. Overall, this is a very good book. I tested a few of the chapters on my 16-year-old son who very much enjoyed the chapter on the mathematics of going to college and monetary gain. I would strongly recommend this text for any high school or college library. This would also be a welcome addition to numerous mathematics curricula around the world.”
Edward McCann Kinsman, in Science Books and Films from the American Association for the Advancement of  Science 

As a college math teacher, one of my biggest jobs is to help my students understand the importance of math, and Math for Life sums it up. The book is extremely well written, and it will keep you thinking long after you close it. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, as the topics included are essential for everyone to understand.
Jennifer Pevley, Bluegrass Community and Technical College

[Math for LIfe] should be required reading for anyone serious about applying mathematics and mathematical thinking to the problems facing the world today. I could not give a book at higher recommendation.
C.R. Coulston