If I'm not in error, old style algebra books ( before 1945) concentrated on equation solving, and modern ones concentrate more on functions and their graphs ( as a preparation to calculus).

Are there classical references, popular amongst math teachers - not too old references ( I'd better like not before mid 40's, for fear terminology could be out of date ) - concentrating specially on equation solving ( at the intermediate level).

I once saw a post dealing with absolute value expressions as exponents with an example taken from Dorofeev's Elementary mathematics. That kind of reference ( with that kind of exercise) would be of great interest to me. ( Unfortunately it is rather difficult to find a copy of Dorofeev's book).

Remark. When I say " not too old ones", don't understand I have prejudices against old math books. To the contrary I highly appreciate math books written during the period 1945-1970 first for typography , second for clarity and elegance in explanations, third for a certain " free thinking air" ( so to say) one can breathe in these books. As an example, I'd take Moses Richardon's books.

  • $\begingroup$ I'd take Moses Richardon's books. --- From p. 111 of his 1947 College Algebra: The algebraic sum of one or more integral rational expressions (or polynomials) and one or more fractional rational expressions is often called a mixed expression.* [Footnote: *A mixed expression should be distinguished from the look on a student's face when he sees one; the latter is more properly called a "mixed up" or "confused" expression.] I've had a copy of this book --- my mother's college algebra text from 1949 or 1950 --- since I was around age 13 (1971). $\endgroup$ – Dave L Renfro Mar 31 at 7:50

I know what you mean about terminology getting too ornate or different in some older books. Despite my love of them, I struggle with Forsyth for instance just based on the writing. In contrast, I find Granville extremely direct and readable, even to a modern audience (probably one reason why it had such a long run from ~1905-1965 as the "standard text"). So it is possible to find some older books that are readable.

Below is a classic algebra 2 text that I love. Note that it has all the answers. Is written very directly and economically (enough info but not florid or a doorstop). Consider that the audience was US military in WW2, deployed and away from classrooms. (My father literally carried his copy onto islands in the Pacific during WW2.) So there is an intention of being accessible and usable by the student, versus a book written for teachers or selection committees.


P.s. FWIW, I did not find much difference between the Hart book and my 1980s algebra 2 HS text, so you may be exaggerating the differences versus current texts. But I don't know. 1980s was before the TI time fetish (although the storm clouds were gathering even then).

  • $\begingroup$ @ guest - EM 315 looks a "solid" reference, thanks! I think a copy will soon travel the ocean to Normandy where I live... maybe it'll be for this book a second travel to Normandy after more than 70 years in case a soldier, like your father, had carried it with him during the war. $\endgroup$ – Ray LittleRock Mar 31 at 1:47
  • $\begingroup$ Bon chance. It is amazing what Amazon has done for used book availability. I bought a different EM (geometry) and Amazon worked great. Here is Granville calculus: amazon.com/Elements-Differential-Integral-Calculus-Department/… $\endgroup$ – guest Mar 31 at 3:04
  • $\begingroup$ I'va also found excellent copies on Abebooks, specially ex-library hard cover books I appreciate much. $\endgroup$ – Ray LittleRock Mar 31 at 3:29
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    $\begingroup$ This book (the true image is not a amazon, but it looks similar to your book) is where I finally learned some introductory algebra after a couple of years trying (as detailed in the earlier parts of this lengthy post about my early math studies. The book was my father's from an army course he apparently took in 1951 (on the title page is a stamp consisting of his name and "1951"). Three or four years ago I managed to obtain a fairly nice copy of the original 1949 hardback (continued) $\endgroup$ – Dave L Renfro Mar 31 at 8:18
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    $\begingroup$ version --- Algebra. Meaning and Mastery. Book One by Daniel Webster Snader. Incidentally, the army version, 228 pages of text, is actually just the first half of "Book One", 490 pages of text. $\endgroup$ – Dave L Renfro Mar 31 at 8:25

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