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A first course in Calculus by Lang

  1. Sep 24, 2014 #1
    I've noticed that the first edition has 250 some odd pages and I believe the last edition has over 500 pages. Would I be missing out on any material if I bought an earlier edition? I have a limited amount of time so the shorter the text the better.

    I also noticed it does not use Epsilon Delta proofs. Most texts make a big deal about the limit setting Calculus apart from all other mathematics so I'm wondering if this is something that should be covered.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2014 #2
    The first edition was written for school children, around grade 10 or 11 (standard 8/9, or form 4/5). It contains just the fundamentals and bare bones of calculus, just so that school children get the basic ideas and calculations. So it's more like a school textbook. The later editions were expanded to become university textbooks, the level of detail and difficulty also increased; but they are still not rigorous and theoretical, they are more like Stewart's calculus books, although nowhere near as bad. So the recent editions are like a different book from the first one. Actually, the first edition has been reprinted as Short Calculus. If you want a theoretical calculus book then Lang has written Undergraduate Analysis.
  4. Sep 24, 2014 #3
    The new editions do give epsilon-delta proofs in the appendix, I believe.
  5. Oct 4, 2014 #4
    Strang is a good teacher, but I did not like his book. If you want to just learn some calculus, any textbook will be good. There are plenty, but I would not recommend Thomas/Finney. I found that book very dull and boring, or maybe I just did not like the presentation. Right now I'm using Leithold Calculus, but that book has significantly more difficult when compared to the College text I'm using for my class, Calculus for Scientist and Engineers by Briggs, Cochrane.
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