This 2nd Edition of the 1998 Survey of Actuarial Theory and Practice is written for advanced undergraduate and graduate students of actuarial science as well as for practicing actuaries. The book has a strong application orientation emphasizing practice rather than underlying theory or mathematics. The authors are British, but attempt a generic approach in order to have an international appeal.
The scope of the book is extensive, covering much of actuarial practice. Thus, they discuss investments, life insurance, general (property and casualty) insurance, pensions, and health insurance. Most of the presentation is descriptive rather than analytical. It is a business text not a math text.
The book is unlikely to be used in the US as a course text in an actuarial course in a math department. It might be useful background reading for someone teaching advanced actuarial courses (C or M or higher), or for a person looking to get a serious look into actuarial practice. The book appears to be readable at an impressionistic/survey level, but would also provide a good workout for someone more knowledgeable.
The spirit of this text seems to be more like the Casualty Actuarial Society text Fundamentals of Casualty Actuarial Science than like the more mathematical Society of Actuaries text, Actuarial Mathematics. It should probably be in the library of a university with an extensive actuarial science program, but would not be on my short list of actuarial texts that should be available to undergraduate mathematics students.
Bryan V. Hearsey is Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Coordinator of the Actuarial Science Program at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA.