As the earlier editions were, this book is intended as a text for an introductory course in algebraic structures (groups, rings, fields, and so forth). Such a course is often used to bridge the gap from manipulative to theoretical mathematics and to help prepare secondary mathematics teachers for their careers.
A minimal amount of mathematical maturity is assumed in the text; a major goal is to develop mathematical maturity. The material is presented in a theorem-proof format, with definitions and major results easily located, thanks to a user-friendly format. The treatment is rigorous and self-contained, in keeping with the objectives of training the student in the techniques of algebra and providing a bridge to higher-level mathematical courses.