Lewis Hirsch and Arthur Goodman strongly believe that students can understand what they are learning in algebra and why. The authors meticulously explain why things are done in a certain way, illustrate how and why concepts are related and demonstrate how 'new' topics are actually new applications of concepts already learned. The authors introduce topics at an elementary level and return to them at increasing levels of complexity. Their gradual introduction of concepts, rules, and definitions through a wealth of illustrative examples - both numerical and algebraic - helps students compare and contrast related ideas and understand the sometimes subtle distinctions among a variety of situations. Through this learning this author team carefully prepares students to succeed in higher-level mathematics.