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Flatland
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Flatland:
A Romance of Many Dimensions
by Edwin Abbott

In the time when circles ruled the earth, one little square dared to dream. This square, an inhabitant of Flatland named A Square, receives a portentous visit from a sphere who takes him on trips to Pointland, Lineland and Spaceland. Along the way he discovers how other the worlds work, thereby learning more about his own. But what happens when he tries to convince his society that there are more than just two dimensions? Will anyone believe him? But wait, there's more! "Flatland," you see, is actually a satire of Victorian England. As Abbott describes his society with the precision of a field anthropologist, it's clear he's referring to more than polygons. A citizen's status is determined by his or her shape, where spheres and multilateral shapes have high ranks and simple triangles are the proles. Women, mere lines, are correspondingly simpleminded creatures. So the social fabric is safeguarded by this rigidity of form, since classifying people- er, polygons- by how they appear is the easiest way to keep power for the elite. Who it's for: math geeks with literary aspirations, literary types who fantasize about understanding differential geometry , fans of satire, and conspiracy theorists.

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