C++ FAQ Celebrating Twenty-One Years of the C++ FAQ!!!
(Click here for a personal note from Marshall Cline.)
Section 28:
[28.6] What are some best-of-breed C++ legality guides?

Here's my personal (subjective and selective) short-list of must-read C++ legality guides, alphabetically by author:

  • Lippman, Lajoie and Moo, C++ Primer, Fourth Edition, 885 pgs, Addison-Wesley, 2005, ISBN 0-201-72184-1. Very readable/approachable.
  • Stroustrup, The C++ Programming Language, Third Edition, 911 pgs, Addison-Wesley, 1998, ISBN 0-201-88954-4. Covers a lot of ground.

Similarities: Both books are excellent overviews of almost every language feature. I reviewed them for back-to-back issues of C++ Report, and I said that they are both top notch, gold plated, excellent books. Both have excellent sales records.

Differences: If you don't know C, Lippman et al's book is better for you. If you know C and you want to cover a lot of ground quickly, Stroustrup's book is better for you.