I am considering using Basic Mathematics by Serge Lang as the primary text for my High School Pre-Calculus course. My students have all spent a year working through the first six books of Euclid and have passed Algebra II. Is there anyone who has used this book in a class? What recommendations would you have based on your experience?

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    $\begingroup$ Without commenting on the specific book, I'll say that I used one of his books in graduate school and it was pretty much the worst thing that ever happened to me; it literally set back my career, possibly permanently. In private discussion with a colleague of Lang's, I was told "Oh yes, we all knew he wrote terrible books..." $\endgroup$ Aug 17 '16 at 1:44
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    $\begingroup$ It sounds like you are at a very unusual school. It may be hard for others to give you advice without knowing more about your situation. $\endgroup$
    – user507
    Aug 17 '16 at 4:03
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not looking for particular advice, rather for the experience of others who have used this particular textbook. $\endgroup$
    – Mitchell
    Aug 18 '16 at 13:09
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    $\begingroup$ My guess is that very few teachers have used it as a text. You know your students, you know yourself, and (hopefully) you know the text. Are they a good fit for each other? $\endgroup$ Aug 27 '16 at 16:39
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    $\begingroup$ @DanielR.Collins: It may be good to collect a list, perhaps on MathOverflow, of "Books that could set back your career". I'm sure such a question would be sunk as "too opinion based", so I haven't asked it. I imagine it would be a service to be warned, though. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Bannon
    Aug 29 '16 at 12:35

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