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Students meeting abstract algebra for the first time will find this book to be an invaluable introduction to the subject. The text is written so that an axiomatic treatment should evolve as a natural development of intuitive ideas. To this end, particular and extensive attention is paid to the integers, which are familiar objects of knowledge, and which, together with some simple properties of polynomials, are used to give motivation for the introduction of more abstract algebraic structures. Each section includes copious examples and ends with a set of exercises for which solutions are provided at the end of the book. No prerequisite material is assumed other than a basic facility with complex numbers and matrices. The clarity of exposition and numerous examples make the book ideal for self-study.