I'm looking for a "pop maths" book on the subject. Something much more accessible than Dieudonné: "light reading" with emphasis on the history, personalities and general ideas and minimal technicalities. It needn't be comprehensive, or even get as far as the 20th century developments.

Does such a thing exist?

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    $\begingroup$ I find Dieudonne history very readable. I do not think that a more "popular" account than that makes any sense. Let me remind you an anecdote about Euclides. When the king (one of the Ptolemy's) asked him for a simpler explanation, Euclid replied: "There is no royal roads in Mathematics". $\endgroup$ – Alexandre Eremenko Sep 12 '15 at 18:03
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    $\begingroup$ Did you see Dieudonné's shortened and popularized version in AMM? maa.org/sites/default/files/pdf/upload_library/22/Ford/… For early times see also Gray smf4.emath.fr/Publications/RevueHistoireMath/3/pdf/… $\endgroup$ – Conifold Sep 12 '15 at 18:53
  • $\begingroup$ Modern Algebraic Geometry is an extraordinarily abstract and technical subject. I can hardly imagine a "pop math" book on it in the style of, say, Brian Greene's popularizations of string theory. $\endgroup$ – silvascientist Sep 14 '15 at 5:55
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks folks -- I'll check out those two PDFs, I hadn't seen either. $\endgroup$ – helveticat Sep 17 '15 at 13:32

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