Accessible but rigorous, this outstanding text encompasses all of the topics covered by a typical course in elementary abstract algebra. Its easy-to-read treatment offers an intuitive approach, featuring informal discussions followed by thematically arranged exercises. Intended for undergraduate courses in abstract algebra, it is suitable for junior- and senior-level math majors and future math teachers. This second edition features additional exercises to improve student familiarity with applications. An introductory chapter traces concepts of abstract algebra from their historical roots. Succeeding chapters avoid the conventional format of definition-theorem-proof-corollary-example; instead, they take the form of a discussion with students, focusing on explanations and offering motivation. Each chapter rests upon a central theme, usually a specific application or use. The author provides elementary background as needed and discusses standard topics in their usual order. He introduces many advanced and peripheral subjects in the plentiful exercises, which are accompanied by ample instruction and commentary and offer a wide range of experiences to students at different levels of ability.