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I'm taking abstract algebra in university. My lecturer use Robert Ash notes as lecture notes. But I think that is not enough as very few things are mentioned in the notes. Can anyone recommend a book or note which gives an extensive explanations or give some motivation on why we need to study these things ?

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marked as duplicate by user26857, Brett Frankel, froggie, Sasha, Hagen von Eitzen Feb 21 '13 at 22:49

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Dummit & Foote is well liked.

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I like

First Course in Abstract Algebra (Van Nostrand Reinhold new mathematics library) by P J Higgins (Apr 22, 1975)

of which second hand copies are available on line. He nicely ties in the abstract/general theory and the concrete.

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