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C. Godfrey and E. A. Price
Cambridge University Press
Publication Date: 
Number of Pages: 
[Reviewed by
Charles Ashbacher
, on

This book was first published in the UK in 1915 and while there have been several subsequent editions, it retains the appearance of an arithmetic text of the early twentieth century. The coverage of arithmetic is complete, it opens with a set of integer addition problems where the numbers are at most six digits in length. With seven numbers to be simultaneously added, the level is the second half of elementary school.

Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of decimals, fractions and mixed numbers are covered, including with the English measures and older types of British currency. Basic area and volume story problems are present, along with percentages and interest calculations. To the credit of the authors, there are sections where the computations are also done using the metric system.

I find it reassuring to examine math books from at least a century ago. With only cosmetic changes in the terms and other things like the prices of goods, this book could be used in math classes from third grade on through the completion of the arithmetic portion of a mathematics education. While the age of first introduction of topics may have been pushed to an earlier position over the years, the content has not changed. Arithmetic will always remain arithmetic, so there remains a basic common core of mathematics instruction. 

Charles Ashbacher splits his time between consulting with industry in projects involving math and computers, and teaching college classes. In his spare time, he reads about these things and helps his daughter in her lawn care business.

Note to the second edition
Weights and measures
Part I. Mainly Integers:
1. The four simple rules
2. Reduction. Compound rules. Practice
3. Unitary method (no fractions)
4. Area. Volume (no fractions)
5. Primes. H.C.F. L.C.M. Roots
Revision papers
Miscellaneous exercises
Part II. Fractions:
6. Vulgar fractions
7. Unitary method
8. Decimal fractions
9. The metric system
10. Ratio and proportion
11. Area. Volume
12. Special types of problem
Revision papers
Miscellaneous exercises
Part III:
13. Percentage
14. Approximation
15. Squares, square roots, reciprocals
16. Circle and cylinder
17. Logarithms
18. Interest
19. Stocks and shares
Revision papers
Miscellaneous exercises
Table of logarithms
Table of anti-logarithms
Table of squares
Table of square roots
Table of reciprocals.