Most helpful positive review
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A highly readable introduction to Galois groups
on July 10, 2008
This is a wonderfully written, highly accessible introduction to polynomial equations (quadratics, cubics, etc.) and their solutions by radicals, leading step by step to an introduction to Galois theory.
Galois theory is presented only towards the end of the book. Readers already familiar with the solutions of quadratic equations, depressed cubics, cubics, and quartics will find the first half of the book somewhat redundant. But it is nevertheless very pleasant to read, with succinct notes on the historical background, and (mostly) self-contained short sections.
It reads very well all the way to the end. It gets a little harder when Galois theory is introduced. But that's perhaps to be expected. I can't say that I master the subject, but certain things (about polynomial equations) are a great deal clearer for me now.
I do have one reservation (but I did not knock off a star for that): the editing (of this English translation of the German original) is quite poor: there is a typo just about every other page. I am very sensitive to typos, and most readers probably won't (nor should they) care -- but there are some typos in the math here and there, and that's plain unacceptable.