The C Programming Language, 2nd Edition by Brian W. Kernighan

The C Programming Language, 2nd Edition by Brian W. Kernighan

The authors present the complete guide to ANSI standard C language programming. Written by the developers of C, this new version helps readers keep up with the finalized ANSI standard for C while showing how to take advantage of C’s rich set of operators, economy of expression, improved control flow, and data structures. The 2/E has been completely rewritten with additional examples and problem sets to clarify the implementation of difficult language constructs. For years, C programmers have let K&R guide them to building well-structured and efficient programs. Now this same help is available to those working with ANSI compilers. Includes detailed coverage of the C language plus the official C language reference manual for at-a-glance help with syntax notation, declarations, ANSI changes, scope rules, and the list goes on and on.


The first edition of the book, published in 1978, was the first widely available book on the C programming language. C was created by Dennis Ritchie. Brian Kernighan wrote the first C tutorial. The authors came together to write the book in conjunction with the language’s early development at AT&T Bell Labs. The version of C described in this book is sometimes referred to as K&R C (after the book’s authors), often to distinguish this early version from the later version of C standardized as ANSI C.
In 1988, the second edition of the book was published, updated to cover the changes to the C programming language resulting from the new ANSI C standard, particularly with the inclusion of reference material on standard libraries. The second edition (and as of 2014, the most recent edition) of the book has since been translated into over 20 languages. In 2012 an eBook version of the second edition was published in ePub, Mobi, and PDF formats.
ANSI C, first standardized in 1988, has since undergone several revisions, the most recent of which is ISO/IEC 9899:2011 (also known as “C11”), adopted as an ANSI standard in October 2011. However, no new edition of The C Programming Language has yet been issued to cover the more recent standards.

About the Authors

  • Brian W. Kernighan is head of the Computing Structures Research Department, Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey.  He received a B.A.Sc in engineering physics from the University of Toronto in 1964, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 1969.  Since joining Bell Labs in 1969, he has worked in combinatorial optimization, document preparation systems, programming languages, and software tools.  His current research interests are in application-oriented programming languages, programming methodology, and user interfaces. Dr. Kernighan is the co-author of several books, including “The C Programming Language” and “The UNIX Programming Environment”.
  • Dennis M. Ritchie, co-creator of UNIX and father of the C programming language. Dennis M. Ritchie was born in Bronxville, NY in 1941. He studied at Harvard University.

Table of Contents

  1. A Tutorial Introduction.
  2. Types, Operators, and Expressions.
  3. Control Flow.
  4. Functions and Program Structure.
  5. Pointers and Arrays.
  6. Structures.
  7. Input and Output.
  8. The UNIX System Interface.

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