Excerpts from book:

There is no denying that this book has grown. Is it still as ‘lean and concentrating on the essential’ as I said it should be when I wrote the preface to the first edition, now almost eight years ago? I believe that it is, perhaps now more than ever. So why the increase in volume? Part of the answer is that I have continued to pursue the original dual aim of offering two different things between one pair of covers:

• a reliable first introduction to graph theory
• a graduate text that offers some depth in selected areas.

For each of these aims, some material has been added. Some of this covers new topics, which can be included or skipped as desired. An example at the introductory level is the new section on packing and covering with the Erdos-Posa theorem, or the inclusion of the stable marriage theorem in the matching chapter. An example at the graduate level is the Robertson-Seymour structure theorem for graphs without a given minor: a result that takes a few lines to state, but one which is increasingly relied on in the literature, so that an easily accessible reference seems desirable. Another addition, also in the chapter on graph minors, is a new proof of the ‘Kuratowski theorem for higher surfaces’—a proof which illustrates the interplay between graph minor theory and surface topology better than was previously possible. The proof is complemented by an appendix on surfaces, which supplies the required background and also sheds some more light on the proof of the graph minor theorem.