Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Calculus the Easy Way Paperback – January 1, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0764129209 ISBN-10: 0764129201 Edition: 4th

9 New from $19.89 54 Used from $0.99 1 Collectible from $9.98
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, January 1, 2006
$19.89 $0.99

There is a newer edition of this item:



Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now

Product Details

  • Paperback: 404 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's; 4th edition (January 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764129201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764129209
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 7.7 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #665,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

(back cover)
by Douglas Downing, Ph.D.

  • A user-friendly introduction to calculus in the form of a novel
  • Exercises with answers at the end of each chapter
  • Step-by-step worksheets
  • Graphs, charts, and line illustrations

  • Calculating derivatives
  • Finding maximum and minimum points with derivatives
  • Determining derivatives of trigonometric functions
  • Exponential functions, vectors, and Taylor series
  • Using differential equations
  • Much more
  • About the Author

    Douglas Downing earned B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale, and has taught economics at Seattle Pacific University since 1983. Calculus the Easy Way is part of a trilogy with Algebra the Easy Way and Trigonometry the Easy Way, all written be Douglas Downing and available from Barron's.

    More About the Author

    Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

    Customer Reviews

    I feel this book balances the two very nicely.
    Patrick D. Goonan
    If you have time to enjoy the subject and wonder how Calculus might have arisen, this is the book you might want to get.
    The strong and intuitive grasp of the subject gained from this book has enabled me to succeed at all levels of math.
    Bulldog Engineer

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By J. Umbach on August 27, 2006
    Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
    Forget the bad reviews, those people totally missed the point of this book. It is not meant to be a last minute study guide or answer every question about the hardest Calculus concepts. This is a book meant for those who just don't get it no matter how many times they read the stupid textbook, struggle through homework problems that barely resemble the textbook examples, and have a teacher who can't seem to explain things worth a damn.

    This book does work. Yes, it is simplified, but it does a good job of giving you a foundation on which to build upon which you will need before you can tackle the truly hard stuff.

    It is even better for those who are more interested in stories than textbooks examples that don't give you any sort of real use to the concepts. By building up in tiny steps the concepts suddenly become less daunting and a sense of fun goes a long way towards learning and understanding the subject.
    Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
    Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
    Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
    20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Patrick D. Goonan on October 20, 2006
    Format: Paperback
    My early formal education was in biology and later I attended graduate school for biochemistry. Along the way, I took classical physics, quantum physics and many other classes that required calculus. I was also a teaching fellow at a university and taught high school math, so I feel I can recognize a good text when I see one.

    This particular book is unique in that it presents calculus within the context of a story and uses problems that come up in the storyline as teaching devices for important concepts. This makes the book very engaging and shows how calculus can be applied to different types of problems.

    I also liked the balance betweeen theory and problem solving. In the past, I have found that some books focus on the theory and tell me more than I wanted to know. Others just threw problems at me without adequately explaining important theoretical concepts. I feel this book balances the two very nicely.

    While it is true that this book does not contain a lot of advanced topics or develop theories as much as others, it does teach you the "must know" concepts quickly and gets you to understand how to apply what you learn. I'm glad I knew about it in graduate school, especially when I was studying physical chemistry. If I didn't, I'm sure it would have been a much more painful process.

    Lastly, higher mathematics DOES NOT come very naturally to me. This was a helpful tool for someone like me and is likely to be for you if you are at all intimidated by difficult mathematical concepts.
    Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
    Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
    Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
    16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By MathFire on September 18, 2001
    Format: Paperback
    ...I had taken two years of calculus about 15 years before I decided I wanted to know again what I had once known. My old calculus text book looked threatening so I went to a local bookstore to see what was available. To my surprise, I found "Calculus The Easy Way" by Downing. It was in story book form, with cartoons, and humor. Unlike many texts, before it explains a mathematical concept, it relates a practical need for it. "Calculus The Easy Way" hits the concepts lightly, while managing to be the most user friendly book on calculus that I have ever seen. However, I did not care for the section on volumes of revolution, or what little was included on related rates. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Outline Series "Calculus" does a much better job in these areas. But I was able to go to the latter due to having read the former. After perusing these two inexpensive paperbacks, hardcover calculus texts no longer appeared ferocious.
    In "Calculus The Easy Way," you won't get much depth. I doubt that depth is one of the intended functions of the book. It may better be described as a tool by which to access the subject with the least amount of pain, and the greatest amount of pleasure. It helps you make a beachhead. If you want more, there are other books that will take you inland. As an additional resource, which is packed with examples, including detailed solutions, you might want REA's "Calculus Problem Solvers." Try not to be the captive of any one book because another book may explain a particular concept in a way that speaks more clearly to you. A used bookstore is an affordable source of many different treatments.
    I once wrote to Professor Downing pleading that he write a second, more advanced calculus book, and use his considerable talent to render other esoteric subjects understandable. I don't recall having received a reply. But if you are seeing calculus for the first time, or if you want to review, you could hardly make a better, more enjoyable choice.
    Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
    Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
    Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
    12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Bratkowski on December 5, 2003
    Format: Paperback
    After my freshmen year of college, I decided to switch majors from English to Biology. Since my Biology major required that I take two basic Calculus classes, I was a little afraid of what I was getting into. I high school I never considered myself very good at math. I admit that I never tried too hard at the subject; I just did as much work to get by, and didn't really worry about understanding the concepts much. I never even got up to Calculus in high school. I did actually learned quite a lot about mathematics from a college algebra course, but the course was somewhat difficult for me, and it was just algebra!
    I pick Calculus the Easy Way up in the summer after my freshmen year in order to get some practice of a subject that I knew nothing about. At first I was suprized that a math book was written in the frame work of a fantasy novel, but eventually the idea grew on me. It was interesting that it was possible to "intergrate" a story into lessons in Calculus. The characters and story lines were fun and the explanations about the fundamentals of Calculus were pretty easy to understand, although I have to admit that it would have helped if they had been more straightforward at times. The problems at the end of the chapters helped me quite a bit, but I did agree with other reviewers who believe there could have been more of them.
    Overall, I think that Calculus the easy is a good introduction for those unfamilar with calculus. It may not have all of the topics disscussed in more advanced calculus classes, but it has all of the core material and does provide introductions to differential equations and partial differentiation, so it does cover a broad range.
    Read more ›
    Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
    Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
    Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

    Customer Images

    Most Recent Customer Reviews


    What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?