By Sylvanus P. Thompson
I once had a logic professor, the rumpled/ bespectacled/ round/ beaming English type, who announced in the first class of the term “it is my job to make logic as pleasant as possible.” This book (which was first published in 1910 — I notice it’s recently been updated and modernized, which is kind of a shame) is the equivalent of that little speech, but for calculus.
The full title is Calculus Made Easy: Being a very-simplest introduction to those beautiful methods of reckoning which are generally called by the terrifying names of the Differential Calculus and the Integral Calculus. Sylvanus P. Thompson — and who can resist a name like that — takes a very clear, gentle, first-principles approach to explaining calculus. He does in spots sacrifice accuracy to get his point across, but isn’t that always the case with intro-level texts?
My copy of this book got both my Dad and I through first-year university calculus. It’s a nice counterpart to whatever the official text is, since Thompson comes at ideas from a different angle. Very useful.