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This book is written in 1939. It's available here on archive.org.

Would you recommend this as an introduction to the mathematics of statistics for beginners?

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I wouldn't. The word "likelihood" appears only two times in the whole book (both volumes). Also, the anti-Bayesian criticisms are definitely dated. As my first book, I would use DeGroot-Schervish.

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What's your background? Casella & Berger is by far my favourite book on mathematical statistics (there's a very cheap international edition). There's Hogg Craig too, which you can use as second source since it's got a similar scope.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I never actually did a course in statistics and I thought it started off well. My b/g is mechanical engineering. $\endgroup$ Dec 26 '14 at 0:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Kedar Mhaswade given that you've got a solid mathematical background, Casella & Berger is the way to go. It's the book that will make you passionate for stats. $\endgroup$
    – mugen
    Dec 26 '14 at 0:30
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If you want books on mathematical statistics at a graduate level, try

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If you like old books, then I'd recommend Feller's classic text. It has all the math you need, and explains all very clearly.

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  • $\begingroup$ It has all the math needed to read it? $\endgroup$
    – Khashaa
    Dec 25 '14 at 23:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Khashaa, yes, and it doesn't have math that you don't need :) It's full of examples, which will help you develop the intuition. $\endgroup$
    – Aksakal
    Dec 25 '14 at 23:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Aksakal: Feller is not about statistics but probability theory... $\endgroup$
    – Xi'an
    Dec 26 '14 at 10:44
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If you're looking for a free online introductory statistics textbook, may I recommend to have a look at OpenIntro Statistics? Not only it's well-written and quite easy to understand, but it also has nice online interactive exercises in R available at datacamp.org

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