I dislike modern textbooks; their cookie-cutter approach and appearance, over reliance on breaking things down into little boxes, the general spoon-feeding they engender and most of all the poor exposition (in my opinion). I feel that reading a mathematics text is a skill in itself, a skill that becomes lost if one subsists on these "modern" books and the bite-sized morsels of knowledge they impart.
I'm in need of a thorough and dry pre-calculus text that will prove worthwhile to work through. I'm not looking for a laundry of list of definitions and theorems. I want as much rigour as a textbook at this level can allow, however not at the expense of clarity.
I understand that the better textbooks were released in 1950-1960s, or perhaps even before then, so I do not mind textbooks that aren't "modern" – the earlier the better.