I do feel impelled to try and say what needs to be said about a whole way of writing books on algebra from Van der Waerden to Cartan and Eilenberg. Look, you people are writing about a subject I love. I would echo Hardy and say, "The subject is so attractive that only extravagant incompetence could make it dull." All the same, we have books that do that. They are austere and arid. Why is that? ...
This book has good company in a bad tradition, which is to accompany good mathematics with bad teaching. Cartan doesn't lecture this way, Eilenberg doesn't lecture this way, Bass doesn't lecture this way and they don't always write this way. Why do they write books this way?
Review of Algebraic K-theory by H Bass. Bulletin of the LMS 2 (1970)
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