This book is dedicated to problems involving colored objects, and especially to results about the existence of certain exciting and unexpected properties that occur regardless of how these objects are colored. In mathematics, these results comprise the area known as Ramsey Theory, which is the mathematical study of combinatorial objects in which a certain degree of order must occur as the scale of the object becomes large. Ramsey Theory thus includes parts of many fields of mathematics, including combinatorics, geometry, and number theory.

This book addresses both famous problems and their history. The main focus is on the story of the discovery of Ramsey Theory. In addition, the author studies the lives of Issai Schur, Pierre Joseph Henry Baudet and B. L. van der Waerden, often including a personal touch. In particular, the book incorporates the author's correspondence with Van der Waerden, Erdös, Baudet, members of the Schur Circle, and others. It also has some unique photographs of the creators of the mathematics presented herein, from Francis Guthrie to Frank Ramsey.

The book succeeds in grabbing the interest of readers. Soifer is particularly interested in attracting young mathematicians to the fascinating world of Ramsey Theory, full of elegant and easily understandable problems for which no particular mathematical knowledge is necessary, but which are very far from being easily solved. It may well succeed! The fact that the book considers the history surrounding the discovery of such problems also makes it of value to historians of science.

Celina Miraglia Herrera de Figueiredo is a professor at the Systems Engineering and Computer Science Program of COPPE at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Her main interests are analysis of algorithms and problem complexity, graph theory, and perfect graphs.