General Topology by John L Kelley

In 1955 John L Kelley published the text General Topology. We present below the Preface to the 1955 edition, the Acknowledgements of the 1955 edition, and the publisher's description from the Dover reprint of 2017.

  1. General Topology: Preface

    This book is a systematic exposition of the part of general topology which has proven useful in several branches of mathematics. It is especially intended as background for modern analysis, and I have, with difficulty, been prevented by my friends from labelling it: What Every Young Analyst Should Know.

    The book, which is based on various lectures given at the University of Chicago in 1946-47, the University of California in 1948-49, and at Tulane University in 1950-51, is intended to be both a reference and a text. These objectives are somewhat inconsistent. In particular, as a reference work it offers a reasonably complete coverage of the area, and this has resulted in a more extended treatment than would normally be given in a course. There are many details which are arranged primarily for reference work; for example, I have taken some pains to include all of the most commonly used terminology, and these terms are listed in the index. On the other hand, because it is a text the exposition in the earlier chapters proceeds at a rather pedestrian pace. For the same reason there is a preliminary chapter, not a part of the systematic exposition, which covers those topics requisite to the main body of work that I have found to be new to many students. The more serious results of this chapter are theorems on set theory, of which a systematic exposition is given in the appendix. This appendix is entirely independent of the remainder of the book, but with this exception each part of the book presupposes all earlier developments.

    There are a few novelties in the presentation. Occasionally the title of a section is preceded by an asterisk; this indicates that the section constitutes a digression. Other topics, many of equal or greater interest, have been treated in the problems. These problems are supposed to be an integral part of the discussion. A few of them are exercises which are intended simply to aid in understanding the concepts employed. Others are counter examples, marking out the boundaries of possible theorems. Some are small theories which are of interest in themselves, and still others are introductions to applications of general topology in various fields. These last always include references so that the interested reader (that elusive creature) may continue his reading. The bibliography includes most of the recent contributions which are pertinent, a few outstanding earlier contributions, and a few "cross-field" references.

    I employ two special conventions. In some cases where mathematical content requires "if and only if" and euphony demands something less I use Halmos' "iff."

    J L Kelley.
    Berkeley, California.
    February 1, 1955.

  2. General Topology: Acknowledgments

    It is a pleasure to acknowledge my indebtedness to several colleagues. The theorems surrounding the concept of even continuity in chapter 7 are the joint work of A P Morse and myself and are published here with his permission. Many of the pleasanter features of the appended development of set theory are taken from the unpublished system of Morse, and I am grateful for his permission to use these; he is not responsible for inaccuracies in my writing. I am also indebted to Alfred Tarski for several conversations on set theory and logic.

    I owe thanks to several colleagues who have read part or all of the manuscript and made valuable criticisms. I am particularly obliged to Isaku Namioka, who has corrected a grievous number of errors and obscurities in the text and has suggested many improvements. Hugo Ribeiro and Paul R Halmos have also helped a great deal with their advice.

    Finally, I tender my very warm thanks to Tulane University and to the Office of Naval Research for support during the preparation of this manuscript. This book was written at Tulane University during the years 1950-52; it was revised in 1953, during tenure of a National Science Foundation Fellowship and a sabbatical leave from the University of California.

  3. General Topology: Courier Dover Publications Description

    "The clarity of the author's thought and the carefulness of his exposition make reading this book a pleasure," noted the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society upon the 1955 publication of John L Kelley's General Topology. This comprehensive treatment for beginning graduate-level students immediately found a significant audience, and it remains a highly worthwhile and relevant book for students of topology and for professionals in many areas. A systematic exposition of the part of general topology that has proven useful in several branches of mathematics, this volume is especially intended as background for modern analysis. An extensive preliminary chapter presents mathematical foundations for the main text. Subsequent chapters explore topological spaces, the Moore-Smith convergence, product and quotient spaces, embedding and metrization, and compact, uniform, and function spaces. Each chapter concludes with an abundance of problems, which form integral parts of the discussion as well as reinforcements and counter examples that mark the boundaries of possible theorems. The book concludes with an extensive index that provides supplementary material on elementary set theory.


JOC/EFR November 2019