This is not an easy-reading text on algebra for beginners. Neither is it a manual. It is a book for free reading. It is designed for a reader with some knowledge of algebra, even though half mastered and perhaps half forgotten. The present text hopes to help the reader recall such haphazard knowledge and polish it up, the aim being to fix certain facts in his mind. It is meant to develop in the reader a taste for algebra and problem-solving, and also excite him to dip into algebra textbooks and fill in the blanks in his knowledge.
To make the subject more attractive I have made use of a variety of tools: problems with intriguing plots to excite the reader's curiosity, amusing excursions into the history of mathematics, unexpected uses that algebra is put to in everyday affairs, and more.