Precalculus: A Prelude to Calculus

second edition

Sheldon Axler

This textbook focuses on topics needed for success in calculus.

Written by a recipient of a Mathematical Association of America award for expository writing, this book is designed to be read by students. It contains the student solutions manual with complete worked-out solutions to all odd-numbered exercises, written by the author to ensure consistency and the same high-quality standards as the rest of the text.

The book treats key concepts leisurely and in depth. However, it is considerably shorter than the typical thousand-page textbook even though it includes the money-saving student solutions manual.

As with the author's widely-adopted linear algebra textbook, this book features clear explanations of the main ideas. For example, inverse functions are used as a unifying concept to define roots, logarithms, and the inverse trigonometric functions.

This book is available with WileyPLUS and WebAssign online learning systems, each of which provides online homework grading that gives students instant feedback while keeping records for instructors. The book is available in hardcover, softcover, binder ready, and electronic versions.

In the short video below, the author discusses the multiple improvements that have been made for this new second edition, based upon suggestions from numerous faculty and students who used the first edition.

Review Copies

Faculty who are potentially interested in using Precalculus: A Prelude to Calculus as a text can contact the author at to request a review copy. Questions or comments about the book can be sent to the author at the same email address.

Complete Solutions to Odd-Numbered Exercises

The inclusion of complete worked-out solutions to the odd-numbered exercises has been a huge hit with students and faculty. These solutions are included in the book for all odd-numbered exercises in the chapters. To help keep the book thin, solutions were not included for the exercises in the appendices. However, those solutions are available here for Appendix A and here for Appendix B.

Excerpts from reviews of the author's linear algebra textbook

Altogether, the text is a didactic masterpiece.
Zentralblatt für Mathematik

a tour de force in the service of simplicity and clarity ... The most original linear algebra book to appear in years, it certainly belongs in every undergraduate library.

elegant and intuitive
American Mathematical Monthly

Clarity through examples is emphasized ... I congratulate the author and the publisher for a well-produced textbook on linear algebra.
Mathematical Reviews

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