Introductory Modern Algebra: A Historical Approach / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 98%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (8) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $132.88   
  • Used (6) from $1.99   


Presenting a dynamic new historical approach to the study of abstract algebra

Much of modern algebra has its roots in the solvability of equations by radicals. Most introductory modern algebra texts, however, tend to employ an axiomatic strategy, beginning with abstract groups and ending with fields, while ignoring the issue of solvability. This book, by contrast, traces the historical development of modern algebra from the Renaissance solution of the cubic equation to Galois's expositions of his major ideas.

Professor Saul Stahl gives readers a unique opportunity to view the evolution of modern algebra as a consistent movement from concrete problems to abstract principles. By including several pertinent excerpts from the writings of mathematicians whose works kept the movement going, he helps students experience the drama of discovery behind the formulation of pivotal ideas. Students also develop a more immediate and well-grounded understanding of how equations lead to permutation groups and what those groups can tell us about multivariate functions and the 15-puzzle. To further this understanding, Dr. Stahl presents abstract groups as unifying principles rather than collections of "interesting" axioms.

This fascinating, highly effective alternative to traditional survey-style expositions sets a new standard for undergraduate mathematics texts and supplies a firm foundation that will continue to support students' understanding of the subject long after the course work is completed.

An Instructor's Manual presenting detailed solutions to all the problems in the book is available upon request from the Wiley editorial department.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

A textbook for a one-semester introduction for undergraduate mathematics majors and prospective high-school teachers of mathematics. Explains the principles and practices of modern algebra in terms of its historical development from the Renaissance solution to the cubic equation to Galois' exposition of his major ideas. Includes both computer and pencil-and-eraser exercises, the answers to which are in the teacher's manual. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471162889
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/11/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.39 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

SAUL STAHL, PhD, is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Kansas and a former systems programmer for IBM. He received his MA from the University of California, Berkeley, and his PhD from Western Michigan University. His main field of expertise is combinatorics. In 1986 he received the Carl A. Allendoerfer Award for excellence in expository writing from the Mathematical Association of America.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

The Early History.

Complex Numbers.

Solutions of Equations.

Modular Arithmetic.

The Binomial Theorem and Modular Powers.

Polynomials Over a Field.

Galois Fields.



Quotient Groups and Their Uses.

Topics in Elementary Group Theory.




Solutions to Selected Odd Exercises.


Pronounciation Guide.


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2000

    An Old-New Approach to Mathematics Teaching

    Some years ago when I took Introductory Algebra at UCLA I discovered Dr Stahl's book, which presents the subject exactly the way it should be; a clear-cut account of the historical development of Algebra, including translations of the original papers (Abel, Galois) which itself makes this book unique. Exercises are numerous and they actually do provide insight into the subject, also a unique feature among today's 'textbooks'. I recommend this book for those who have a genuine interest in the subject, beyond just earning a good grade in the class. I believe that this book put me on the right course in my understanding of what meaningful Mathematics is, a process which culminated in acceptance into a very prestigious graduate programme in Mathematics.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)