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I think this is unacceptable for a book that was originally published in 1971 and Amazon has this version listed as 1998. They've had plenty of time to fix their errors for a republishing.
I used this book to refresh my math knowledge after a decade away from math, and while it did an acceptable job, I did still have to reference other sources a number of times as this book will throw things at you that it hasn't explained. As an example, simplifying roots is never covered, but they do so in their solutions, so you'll have to learn how to do it elsewhere. This one in particular was disappointing to me, because the way exponents and roots are covered in the book was excellent, and it did set me up to understand why it works on a deeper level than any videos/articles I read on it, but it would have been way better to not have to do that.
The one thing that really annoyed me were the proofs. The only way I could navigate his proofs was due to my exposure to mathematics in undergrad. Many of the proof techniques that he used seemed arbitrary, and even the solutions to proof problems in the back of the book were arbitrary and ad hoc. There is a little section in the middle of the book about proofs and mathematical logic, but it covers nowhere near the level of proofs that he uses in the text. If this is truly a text on basic mathematics, let it be basic, or fill in the reader on proof techniques.
I'll be a junior in high school next year, and was recommended studying this book by a math professor in Belgium (yes, really). The biggest thing to know about math, at least in the earlier levels, is that it is cumulative. You will be absolutely and forever f'ed if you go into Calculus with hardly any knowledge of algebra. That's why, if you find yourself struggling in math, or need to strengthen your foundations, you need to go throuh this book.
It's excellent for self studying, which is what I'm currently doing this summer. When you take this book on at your own pace, and can spend more time on each section as required, and breeze through other sections that you have a firm grasp on, you'll find yourself enjoying the book. Serge Lang was an excellent mathematician (was... only because he is dead) and his books are well written and devoted to helping you understand the material.
Remember though, that just because the book claims to be covering basic mathematics, that you won't be challenged. It can be tough, and especially when you're at the high school level, the mathematics won't seem like they're "basic", but more like, "hey, I just learned that last year/this year/whenever." It's ultimately a wonderful book if you're looking to strengthen the foundation of your mathematic ability, and Lang also includes a brief section after the first chapter about how you should logically examine math, which is invaluable.
Math, to a lot of people, is pointless and not fun. It's that way because of botched U.S. public education, a lack of good/inspiring math teachers, and partly due to a lack of motivation in students. Pick up this book, maybe make a schedule for it, and just sit down and DO math. After a while, you'll start to see the beauty of something that is so logical and amazing, something that has been the collective work of various genius human minds, collaborating to further mathematics, that you'll pick up a passion for math. Math is almost like a language. You can choose to go through life in ignorance, sitting by and listening to others communicate with eachother, looking on in awe, wondering what beautiful and inspiring things they could be saying, or you can sit down, get to work, and be right there with them, able to communicate in a logical and correct language that governs the universe.
Top international reviews
Having said that, the exercises in this book are frustrating. Many of the answers (odd-numbered questions only) are misprinted and INCORRECT, which can leave less confident students worrying over a problem that they may have actually solved. Furthermore, the exercises can have solutions that are not particularly "nice", and can be worrying for people who might expect that results can be simplified further or made easier to calculate.
Whilst this book is a solid training session for anyone who wants to improve their mathematical abilities, it can be punishing and frustrating at times.
Naturally I do not feel yet very secure about my skills. In this situation it is quite stressful to find equations that do not make sense. Multiple times now I was not sure, is this an error or is it just my limited maths understanding? Unfortunately, it turns out its frequently an error.
For example the equation that can be used to convert radians into degrees is xdeg=pi*xrad/180 instead of the correct xdeg=180*xrad/pi
Overall its a nice and readable book. I learned quite a bit by studying it. But the errors can be quite confusing.
La edición no es muy bonita pero para un libro técnico me parece bien.
Lo recomiendo mucho.
Excellent if you require a refresher or are just learning the basics.