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According to an old Usenet post, Iverson’s son Eric released the book under a Creative Commons license and published it at


However, that site is long gone and the Internet Archive only has parts of the book.

It’s freely licensed now, and as such, I’d love to see it freely available. There are dead-tree copies floating around the used book market, but thanks to algorithmic pricing they’re hundreds of dollars.

Anyone have a copy? I’d be willing to pay a reasonable amount (i.e. not hundreds of dollars) and do the legwork on digitization.


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    @zge @davidholman @dbremner @nickpsecurity @jyc

    Hey everyone, thanks for all the responses. As an update, I reached out to the original author of the Usenet post, as @zge made the excellent point that secondhand comments on years-old Usenet posts probably don’t constitute legally binding statements. I’ll let you all know what, if anything, comes of that here.

    I’ve started working with my local university library to see if I can get a copy via interlibrary loan.

    The books linked by @nickpsecurity also seem to get 90% of the way there, so that may be good enough.

    Thanks again everyone.

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      Are you sure you can trust an old Usenet post regarding the legal status of the book? I looked around, and couldn’t really find anything, while on the other hand, it doesn’t seem to be an unknown, uncited relic either, and usually if it were freely available, some archivist somewhere would have made sure that it could be found. But that’s all guessing.

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          Have you tried placing an interlibrary loan request for this book? I have been able to borrow many extremely obscure books as interlibrary loans.

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            Decided to have a quick look. It was originally Elementary Functions: An Algorithmic Treatment. That was the draft, original version or something like that in the 1960’s. That is here on Amazon for around twenty bucks. Haven’t seen the other one yet. Gonna do a bit more searching.

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              Hey @lorddimwit, what about this? I’m getting too sleepy to really keep the search in my head but it had similar TOC to first thing I saw on Algebra Algorithmic Treatment. Done for the night regardless. See yall in the morning. :)

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                The book is in my university’s library, and apparently I can request scans of up to 30 pages for $4. The book is 361 pages, so I suppose hypothetically could get the whole thing scanned for $50. I could ask a librarian some time next week if there are other options, provided you haven’t found an alternative.

                Though you mention that you’d be willing to digitize it yourself, in which case the other suggestions about interlibrary loans seem good.