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on December 6, 2011
I found this book to be a fantastic overview of classical mechanics. Having already had a fairly extensive background in undergraduate level math and physics, I found the level on which this book operates to be a perfect next step: very rigorous but clear, with many excellent problems at the end of each chapter which introduce important topics and provide a good range of difficulty. This would probably not be a good introduction to the topic, but would be excellent for anyone with at least the equivalent of a freshman physics and calculus course under their belt who wants a more advanced treatment.
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on May 20, 2014
I have pulled far too much hair from my head because of frustration with this book. Having read through the first six chapters, here are my major concerns thus far:

1) The end-of-chapter exercises are brutally hard. Each chapter has ~20-30 problems, ~10 of which are starred for difficulty. Personally (as an honors physics senior undergrad working through these problems with a friend) I have had enormous difficulty tackling even the non-starred problems, not to mention the starred problems. The problems seem to assume knowledge that wasn't presented in the chapter, or assume that I have the physics intuition of a veteran grad student. While there certainly are answers in the back of the book, there are no worked-out solutions, even online, so there is nowhere to go for help. (Note: has been a life-saver for discussing and getting advice on many problems).

2) The organization of the book, and even organization within individual chapters, is beyond me. For instance, the Lagrangian is introduced as early as Chapter 2, with several sections devoted to it. However, the Largrangian is addressed in very few problems and doesn't appear again until Chapter 10, where it is analyzed for an entire chapter - so why introduce it in Chapter 2? It seems completely unrelated. Other chapters have many skipped steps, incomplete derivations (or, in the case of the chapter on the dipole expansion, complete absence of derivations and frequent use of "oh this is obvious!"), and frequent inconsistency between using the continuous (integral) and discrete (summation) formulation. Heck, the authors even write the quadrupole moment as a scalar! (Why, oh why, would you ever lead students to believe that the quadrupole moment is a scalar?!)

Some aspects of the book were nice, however:
1) The Appendix has lots of great information that is very well laid out. It's excellent general knowledge.
2) The exercises are extremely satisfying when/if you've finally solved them. They are nothing short of real-life, physically-relevant problems.

Overall, I can't tell who this book is intended for. The problems are too hard for someone first learning post-freshman level classical mechanics but the material is not advanced enough for this to be a graduate text. I do not recommend this book.

EDIT: All of these issues are further exacerbated in the latter half of the book. I switched to Goldstein's Classical Mechanics; even though it is formally a graduate-level text, it's much more readable, intuitive, and enjoyable (and the problems are doable and insightful). Admittedly the writing is more abstract and requires a strong background in some kind of formal physics (E&M, Quantum, or GR/SR) so that you are more comfortable with notation and with the higher-level mathematics.
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on April 24, 2015
Logically complete, your questions will always have an answer if you look for them. The build-up of concepts based on previous concepts is complete. Examples are thought-provoking and rarely tedious. Explanations are precise, clear, and complete, and not wordy.
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This is basically the most abstract classical mechanics book at the senior undergraduate level. While there are merits to this abstractness, it's not the best book to use when you're first starting to learn upper-division CM. The lack of worked examples certainly makes learning certain topics significantly more time-consuming - especially topics in later chapters, like coupled pendulums and rigid-body rotations. If you want more worked examples, you probably should use Marion and Thornton (or Fowles and Cassidy) as a supplement (or as a main text).
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on July 30, 2014
This is a great book! It may sound like a minor detail, but the font on a paperback textbook makes all the difference in the world! The author spaces the text from the equations and uses a very elegant style to format everything. He strategically uses the dot-notation for time derivatives in places to reduce clutter and d/dt notation where emphasis is needed. The subjects are arranged in a fluid fashion and is suitable for [in my opinion] both Intermediate and Graduate level Mechanics.
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on July 25, 2008
I've just finished up to Chapter 4 and
everything I read is excellent. It has
very good reviews of vectors and tensors
in the appendix. Answers to the exercises
are also provided.
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on January 9, 2007
This book covers a huge amount of classic physics techniques and theories. I bought it for the Hamiltonian section but I really like reading it. Note - I am not a physicist but I have a masters in math and do a lot of reading for amusement in physics of all kinds.
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on December 21, 2015
You're going to have to do some leg work of your own to fully grasp classical mechanics from this text, but as a primer, or a theoretical background, it's a fairly solid textbook.
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on April 8, 2015
This book was actually better than my graduate level book. Very clear and lots of detail.
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on August 20, 2014
Packs a lot for its (thankfully) small physical size. Great review/reference travel text.
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