Python Essential Reference

Python Essential Reference, David M. Beazley, New Riders, 2000, 319 pages.

Before you buy this book, be advised that I believe there is a new version out, that includes updated information on newer Python versions, so buy the new version, not the one I review here.

Having said that, there isn't that much for me to review, since this is a definitive reference book covering both the core language and the library modules. The forward of the book is by Guido van Rossum himself who profusely praises the book and is glad to see a published book that essentially contains the heart of the entire Python documentation. Read the foreword by Guido at the book store in order to decide whether to buy this book, rather than my opinions.

The book is what it is, that is, a great reference work, the basic documentation of the language. Dr. Beazley is a professor of computer science at the University if Chicago and a recognized expert in the Python language. If you have not already done so, rush over to his web site at
and read through his two superb online tutorials, one on the basics of Python and one on more advanced topics. In a couple of hours, you can review the language and no doubt learn some new insights; I know I did. Highly recommended!