Politics & Policy

Author Confessional: John Derbyshire

Spring authors tell tales out of the publisher's office.

Drawn Out

National Review Online’s John Derbyshire confesses: “I have always fancied myself a pretty nifty draftsman. Just as I was embarking on my latest book, which has a lot of geometric figures and diagrams, I happened to read Roger Penrose’s The Road to Reality, which has diagrams that are obviously hand drawn. Inspired by this example, I decided to hand-draw all the illustrations for my own book. (As opposed to using my computer math packages to draw them for me, as I had with my previous book.) I bought a light box and a set of different-caliber pens and patiently drew all the diagrams.

“The manuscript finished, I shipped it off to the publisher for editing. Of course, they came back with: “The diagrams are too rough. Could you please do computer-generated ones, like before?” Grrrrr. The diagrams in the finished book are computer-generated. (Mostly.)”

John Derbyshire’s new book, Unknown Quantity: A Real And Imaginary History of Algebra, will be released on May 15.

NR Staff — Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

Most Popular

Education

The Deflation of the Academic Brand

Trumpism is sometimes derided as an updated know-nothingism that rejects expertise and the input of credentialed expertise. Supposedly, professionals who could now save us tragically have their talent untapped as they sit idle at the Council on Foreign Relations, the economics Department at Harvard, or in the ... Read More
Elections

My Journey into the Heart of Obama-Trump Country

After eight years of displeasure with Barack Obama’s presidency, Carla Johnson was ready for a drastic change. The 41-year-old lab technician from Cresco, Iowa, fell for Donald Trump very early in the 2016 primary season. She loved his “take-no-[sh**]” style, his conservative stances on gun control and ... Read More