After earning degrees in physics from the University of Missouri at Rolla, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the author had a 30-plus year career as a physicist at Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories.
His interest in writing a book about the foundations of basic mathematics arose from his belief that many people would benefit from exposure to additional material that emphasized the basic principles, unity, and logic of the subject. It also arose from his belief that understanding the actual proofs of the theorems of mathematics can contribute considerably to the overall understanding. Especially in basic mathematics, failure to explicitly prove theorems contributes an unnecessary aura of mystery to the subject. This is ironic, since the proofs are not particularly difficult to follow, once certain principles of logic are explained, and a certain familiarity with algebraic manipulation is gained. After all, the student is not required to come up with the proofs himself, but only follow a proof invented by other (admittedly very talented) mathematicians.