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Topology (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition
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The book is divided into two sections, the first covering general, i.e. point-set, topology and the second covering algebraic topology. Exercises (without solutions) are provided throughout. The exercises include straight-forward applications of theorems and definitions, proofs, counter-examples, and more challenging problems.
My only complaint with this book is that it does not discuss manifolds and differentiable topology, but other texts fill this gap.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in studying topology; it is especially well-suited for self study.
In my opinion, after going through the discussion of algebraic topology in Munkres, the students should be ready to move forward to a (now standard) text such as Hatcher, for further coverage of homotopy, homology and cohomology theories of spaces. Eventhough a few contending general topology texts - such as a recent title published in the Walter Rudin Series - have started to hit the academic markets, Munkres will no doubt remain as the classic, tried-and-trusted source of learning and reference for generations of mathematics students. This is despite the fairly high price tag which could stop some students from buying their own copies, hence encouraging instructors to choose some of the cheaper topology paperbacks readily available through the Dover publications. Also the majority of Munkres's readers would have wished to see more hints and answers provided at the back so as to make the text more helpful for self-study. (I remember suffering from and being lost with my Munkres topology homework exercises in 1998-1999, during my first year of graduate school.) It later became evident to me that those who are newcomers to the topic or are merely testing the waters, should try Fred H. Croom's 1989 topology text, since the latter is a more accessible title similar in the exposition and selection of topics on Munkres (and Willard for that matter), thus nicely serving as a prerequisite for either of the more advanced books.
A couple of ending remarks: A reviewer has correctly mentioned here that Dr. Munkres does not include differential topology in his presentation. This is because of the length consideration, given that he has already written a separate monograph on the topic. In fact it's also necessary to first get a handle on a fair amount of algebraic topology such as the notions of homotopy, fundamental groups, and covering spaces for a full-fledged treatment of the differential aspect. In any case, one high-level reference for a rigorous excursion into this area is the Springer-Verlag GTM title by Morris W. Hirsch which includes introductions to the Morse and cobordism theories. I'd also like to mention that another decent book on general topology, unfortunately out of print for quite some time, is a treatise by "James Dugundji" (Prentice Hall, 1965). The latter would complement Munkres, as for instance Dugundji discusses ultrafilters and some of the more analytical directions of the subject. It's a pity that Dover in particular, has not yet published this gem in the form of one of their paperbacks.
Later at graduate school, Munkres was also used in a topology class at the beginning graduate level. Highlights were taken from the first section (point set topology), and a large focus of the class was on the algebraic topology in the second section of the book. Sometimes I had difficulty following exactly what the professor was doing at the blackboard, but I could always understand what was going on when I consulted Munkres.
I would stress that this is only to be used as an introduction to algebraic topology, as there is nearly no development of homology groups and other algebraic concepts. However, it gives a very good presentation for the fundamental group. As a whole it would be a very good addition to your mathematical library.
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Get this for selfstudy purposes.