# Calculus Made Easy (Free book)

By Murray Bourne, 25 Apr 2009

OK, it looks old and dusty, but Calculus Made Easy [PDF] is an excellent book and I strongly recommend it to those of you who are struggling with calculus concepts. It’s also great for teachers, to give you ideas on how to explain calculus so it doesn’t confuse the hell out of everyone. He quite rightly points out that many math text book writers are more interested in impressing the reader with sophisticated calculus techniques than explaining the basic concepts.

One of the early pages has:

THOSE BEAUTIFUL METHODS OF RECKONING

WHICH ARE GENERALLY CALLED BY THE

TERRIFYING NAMES OF THE

DIFFERENTIAL CALCULUS

AND THE

INTEGRAL CALCULUS.

BY

SILVANUS P. THOMPSON

In other words, this was one of the first ever “Calculus for Dummies” books. Thompson puts great effort into *explaining* what is going on, rather than jumping straight into the calculations. He humbly calls himself a “fool”, but doesn’t treat the reader as one.

He quotes from an “ancient Simian proverb”:

“What one fool can do another can.”

To give you an idea of how the book is written, in Chapter 1, “To Deliver You From the Preliminary Terrors”, we read:

∫ which is merely a long S, and may be called (if you like) “the sum of.” Thus ∫

dxmeans the sum of all the little bits ofx; or ∫dtmeans the sum of all the little bits oft. Ordinary mathematicians call this symbol “the integral of”.Now any fool can see that if

xis considered as made up of a lot of little bits, each of which is calleddx, if you add them all up together you get the sum of all thedx‘s, (which is the same thing as the whole ofx). The word “integral” simply means “the whole”.

The book is now copyright free. Grab the PDF: Calculus Made Easy.

[Thanks to Denise at LetsPlayMath for the link.]

See the 35 Comments below.

26 Apr 2009 at 12:52 pm [Comment permalink]

thanks so much for sharing this excellent book!

best regards,

an old fool

26 Apr 2009 at 12:56 pm [Comment permalink]

You’re welcome Solarhene. I’m glad that you find it useful.

26 Apr 2009 at 8:45 pm [Comment permalink]

i believe it can work and it will work

27 Apr 2009 at 9:59 pm [Comment permalink]

I’m so interested in re-learning calculus that I watched many different video tutorials, but I found this book summarizing Integral Calculus in its first 2 pages!

Thank you so much!

3 May 2009 at 2:05 pm [Comment permalink]

Thanks so much for posting this. I’m so glad I clicked on your link while viewing my friend Dana’s blog. My 9 year old read it and was very excited that it made so much sense. He’s currently taking Physics and some of the math problems were made to be so confusing so this will help him so much.

10 May 2009 at 12:55 am [Comment permalink]

Good DAY SIR,i want to know how i can get this text book,calculus made easy.i am mailing from Lagos Nigeria.thank u sir.

10 May 2009 at 7:49 am [Comment permalink]

Hi Lawal

This is an e-book in PDF form (not a physical book). The link is in the article above, in the first line.

You could print it out from the PDF if you would rather hard copy.

30 Jun 2009 at 7:36 pm [Comment permalink]

Its a brilliant book. Thanks for sharing the book

9 Jul 2009 at 9:27 pm [Comment permalink]

Thanks for sharing this book! It will be a great tool for my independent study students!

25 Aug 2009 at 2:29 pm [Comment permalink]

Thanks for great job well done. Do the same with other topics such as trigonometry and complex numbers

28 Aug 2009 at 1:54 am [Comment permalink]

the way you have started culculus is very interesting but how could one get the whole PDF paper?

28 Aug 2009 at 11:05 am [Comment permalink]

Hi Judith. The link to the PDF is in the article above! Do you mean that you want a hard copy? You would need to print it yourself.

2 Sep 2009 at 7:20 pm [Comment permalink]

if every mathematics topic could be introduced the way this has, then i sure no one will think of maths as the hardest of courses.

17 Sep 2009 at 5:34 am [Comment permalink]

make me realize the math is easy

28 Mar 2010 at 10:05 pm [Comment permalink]

one of the greatest books.. many thanks for sharing with us

9 Jun 2010 at 12:54 pm [Comment permalink]

I was contemplating purchasing a course on dvd called “Calculus Made Clear” selling for $60.00 US. Then I decided to google “Calculus Made Easy” and found your link to this great book. I read the intro and was amazed at how easy it was to follow. I will continue to read the whole text! by the way, I was searching for books on calculus for my son so now we can read it together. Thanks!

9 Jun 2010 at 6:01 pm [Comment permalink]

You’re welcome, Rod. Glad you found it useful.

15 Jun 2010 at 10:38 pm [Comment permalink]

i from iran and i don’t english.

ineed a study book reference and i have n’t book english and i request from you that a link book free download for laplas, integral ,…

thank you very much

16 Jun 2010 at 6:32 am [Comment permalink]

@Fatemeh: I’ll look for such materials and post it if I find any good ones.

26 Apr 2011 at 9:48 pm [Comment permalink]

Thanks

25 May 2011 at 2:01 pm [Comment permalink]

thanks! and great work which nobody cannot be appreciated for your effort for sharing such good book.

6 Jul 2011 at 4:29 pm [Comment permalink]

It can be downloaded at

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/33283

which is typed in LaTeX and the file size is reduced tenfold.

6 Jul 2011 at 7:28 pm [Comment permalink]

@Dalcde: Thanks for the tip!

11 Sep 2011 at 10:35 pm [Comment permalink]

if u r one of those looking to understand calculas at an elementary level,then u’ve got it here.Calculas Made Easy is indeed very helpful a book for those struggling to understand it as a concept.so do go for it , it is certainly one of the best materials available. go for it.have a nice maths day.

22 Jan 2012 at 9:51 am [Comment permalink]

Hi :

Thanks for the pdf on Calculus Made Easy.

I have always been curious and terrified at the same time of calculus.

Chapter One says it all. Getting past the fancy notation, helps a huge amount.

Kind Regards Ian Thomson

23 Jan 2012 at 4:30 pm [Comment permalink]

Hi! Ian,My name is percy and I teach Maths in grade 12. Please foreward me the calculus doc as I also struggle on calculus section.

23 Jan 2012 at 4:57 pm [Comment permalink]

@Percival: The link to the PDF is at the top (and again at the bottom) of the article.

12 Jun 2012 at 9:37 am [Comment permalink]

Dear Murray

I am surprised and delighted to see my old Dear Friend Sylvanus P. Thompson here. As a very discouraged high school dropout I found an original hardback version at the rubbish tip site where I used to spend my spare time. I picked it up and the proverb just grabbed me. I read the book it and loved it. I went back to school and excelled at the age of 25. Now after 40 years in senior positions in Telecommunications in Australia my copy is very much treasured and repaired and again being used as I transition into becoming a teacher myself! The bit that initially grabbed me was “What one fool can do another can” I ask that you put that wonderful saying up on this site. It was so powerfuly encouraging it got me off the bad path I was on and led to a wonderful career and a wonderful wife and family. Imagine, it hardly seems possible that an ancient seven word proverb, repeated in one book by a man long dead could do so much good.

I love this guy and would have loved to have met him.

Kind Regards

Joe Kenyon

12 Jun 2012 at 10:43 am [Comment permalink]

Thanks for your inspiring story, Joe!

I have included the quote in the article.

26 Jul 2012 at 1:23 pm [Comment permalink]

Hi,

I have been searching such work for past couple of months and at last I got here in the form of “Calculus Made Easy” May GOD Bless all who have made such efforts in preparing such an excellent book.

Thanks to all…..

Sachin Sharma

India

19 Sep 2012 at 8:24 am [Comment permalink]

Murray,

Thanks for posting this…and for free! While I struggled with math from grade school to grad school, I’m now a bit of a math junkie and books with subjects like this really pique my interest. I wish I could get my hands on an actual copy of that book for myself.

One question comes to mind, though. I noticed there are two different dates in the front of the book that confuse me (I’m a sucker for old books). There is a date of 1914 in the preface and another of 1943 by itself on another page. Do you know which date was the actual date of publication? There isn’t an actual copyright year specified and as I read through the text, the absence of that date combined with the style and choice of words lead me to believe this was a work from the early 20th century. I rely on a barely mediocre literary acumen to make that assessment, so take it with an enormous grain of salt.

Thanks and best wishes!

21 Sep 2012 at 8:51 pm [Comment permalink]

@drcobol2000 The publication date would be 1914, as that’s when he wrote the Preface to this second edition. So your “early 20th century” language observation is right on the button.

I don’t believe the “6-14-43″ on the separate page is a date, since in the US, the date order is normally day then month. I suspect it’s there to trigger thought.

24 Jan 2013 at 4:10 pm [Comment permalink]

Thanks you so much sir for this ebook

I am an engineering student, and i am struggling with calculus.

This book helped me a lot even though this book is quite old.

4 Jul 2013 at 11:24 pm [Comment permalink]

Thank you really really much sir. You help me a lot.

19 Jul 2014 at 8:58 pm [Comment permalink]

thank u so much its very helpful