The theory that would not die
Bayes' discovered his rule in the middle of the 18th century, but did not publicise it. Laplace used it extensively in his calculations, but drifted towards the opposing 'frequentist' view. We hear of how it resurfaced in 20th century warfare, used in aiming shells, cracking codes and searching for missing nuclear bombs. Anywhere where getting the job done was more important that being theoretically correct. The amount it was really used was often hidden by confidentiality though, and in academia most thought that it should be shunned. The coming of computers made the often complex Bayesian calculations more tractable, and now it is a large part of statistics.
The book was well written, McGrayne keeps the reader interested in the subject, which is a difficult task for a history such as this.Sometimes I wanted to see more examples of how Bayes is actually used, but I can understand that McGrayne wanted to keep mathematics to a minimum. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in how the vast amount of information in our lives is processed.