There are several editions of this popular introduction to the theory of numbers. Are they substantially different from one another? Do you think the edition in which Hugh Montgomery appears as co-author is the one I should definitely acquire?

Thanks a bunch for your replies!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The last edition of some book in sciences and mathematics is usually the most complete, error-free and, in some cases, extended to include new results. I'm not sure in this case but I think this could apply here, too. $\endgroup$
    – DonAntonio
    Nov 27, 2018 at 19:53

1 Answer 1


According to Amazon,

The Fifth Edition [of An Introduction to the Theory of Numbers by Niven & Zuckerman, plus Montgomery, has] new features [that] include expanded treatment of the binomial theorem, techniques of numerical calculation and a section on public key cryptography.

A couple of years ago, I checked out an older edition from the library. I don't recall anything in it about cryptography, but given the year it was printed, I wasn't expecting that anyway.

I think that was the Fourth Edition, from 1980. In the decade to the next edition, one would think the authors would have agonized over things they could have phrased better.

And one would also think the new co-author would want to put his own stamp on the book, so that people don't think it's just a warmed over Fourth Edition with a few minor updates.

And hey, only three left in stock as of this writing. Gotta do your part to help the American economy before our idiot president takes a sledgehammer to the Dow Jones.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ +1 for political commentary. $\endgroup$
    – rogerl
    Jun 3, 2019 at 19:42

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