This is a beautiful book. Crystal-clear and insightful explanations, with the right amount of historical background and quite original outlook (without going overboard). I can only echo what other quoted reviewers have said: i wish i had had this book when i was studying these matters in earnest, i'm pretty sure i've understood some fine points for the first time only now! I'd also perhaps make an exception on the last part (or act, as Needham calls them) on differential forms, which feels at times a bit rushed and in need of some editing, and it'd had been wonderful if the manufacture of the book were up to its contents: most images and photographs look really, really cheap, and there are more typos than granted, which is a pity (as to other figures, they're decent, although it must be said that Needham is not Penrose, but then who is?).