- Hardcover: 944 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 3 edition (July 14, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0471433349
- ISBN-13: 978-0471433347
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 87 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Abstract Algebra, 3rd Edition 3rd Edition
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This book is awesome for self-studying. It contains so much information, presented very, very clearly, in the logical order than one expects things, with the desired intuition always present, by way of a deluge of relevant and interesting examples. There is a vast amount of exercises too, ranging from the very easy to quite difficult. One drawback is that the ocean of information sometimes obscures the main key points of each topic (which occurs less often in other presentations of the same material, like Jacobson's Basic Algebra I, for example). Also, it is my (beginner's) opinion that the presentation on rational canonical/Jordan forms in Chapter 12 is inferior to that found in Jacobson's Basic Algebra. On every other respect, however, I think this book is vastly superior to the alternatives. I can't recommend it enough.
The pro's have been discussed in other reviews and include: clear development of group, ring, and field theory; tons of exercises at the end of every chapter; numerous examples scattered around the text; sylow theorems (for group theory, imo, it's important, and not every algebra book does sylow stuff!); great introduction to exact sequences (useful if the reader is going into algebraic topology anytime soon. ugh!); galois theory is pretty clearly laid out; and, the third section of the book has some neat topics the reader can check out (which are, I think, commutative algebra, homological algebra, and representation theory introductions, as well as a small section on category theory at the very end).
The con's of D+F are the price (it's very expensive!), the binding (it's horrible!), and some of the sections are much harder than others and D+F doesn't do as well a job at explaining them as in many of the other sections (the tensors section sticks out in my head, and they wait something like 100 pages to explain "tricks" for figuring out the structure of finite groups after explaining some of the sylow stuff (eg., they wait to tell the reader about how to "pin small groups against one-another" and to make use of the sylow n! trick). Also, D+F introduce modules before vector spaces which I have mixed feelings about --- as a student who's already taken an algebra class, I love the "flow" of the lessons; as a student who remembers what it was like to try to imagine what modules "looked like", it makes me cringe to think that they didn't introduce vector spaces first.
Overall, wonderful book. One of my favorites of all time. DEFINITELY have it, and if you study from it, you may feel more comfortable supplimenting it with Herstein's Algebra, Artin's Algebra (which are just as hard) or Fraleigh's Abstract Algebra, Gallian's Abstract Algebra, or Rotman's Abstract Algebra (which are much, much easier).
I've used others (Lang, Jacobson, and Herstein). If I had to order them it would be:
Dummit, Hersein, Jacobson, Lang. With Dummit being easily in first.
The material is explained very well in this book.
I found it much easier to learn from this book than the other books listed.
Also, this book covers everything a first year graduate would cover in algebra
(not that the others don't).
Lots of good stuff explained in a way that clicks with my brain.