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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant work of mathematics, February 20, 2006
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Ryan C. Reich (Ann Arbor, MI United States) - See all my reviews
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Homological algebra is one of those subjects that in order to understand, you need to know already. Category theory wouldn't hurt either, nor some algebraic geometry and algebraic topology. Unfortunately, you need to know homological algebra to do some of these things as well. The great strength of Gelfand and Manin's work is that it ties together examples from all of these areas and coherently integrates them into some of the best mathematical prose I've ever read. The book is recent enough that its authors write from a position of vast perspective on fifty years of research, and the subject as they present it is about as up-to-date as possible, yet cleanly developed and not overwhelming. Unlike many books whose subject matter was influenced by modern algebraic geometry, this one does not merely pay lip service to standard references on its vast prerequisites, but systematically develops them (specifically, the ideas of category theory and abelian categories) in an entire, large chapter.

The book's only tangible drawback is the presence of errors, despite the revision. The previous edition was said to be riddled with them, and the authors have indeed brought the count down to a nearly respectable level, with those remaining relatively minor. The remaining errors are more jarring than confusing, however, and this is not a sticking point.

Finally, I would like to emphasize that neither this book nor any other is suitable for beginners in homological algebra. This is an aspect of the field, and its remedy is to study the applications, algebraic geometry and algebraic topology most of all. The ideas of homological algebra are derived not from first principles but from mathematicians' experiences doing mathematics, and both the subject matter and the many excellent examples in the book will resonate more with a student whose knowledge they cast in a new light.
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Methods of Homological Algebra (Springer Monographs in Mathematics)
Methods of Homological Algebra (Springer Monographs in Mathematics) by S. I. Gelʹfand (Paperback - December 1, 2010)
$119.00 $96.14
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