The authors of Learning Python
show you enough essentials of the Python scripting language to enable you to begin solving problems right away, then reveal more powerful aspects of the language one at a time. This approach is sure to appeal to programmers and system administrators who have urgent problems and a preference for learning by semi-guided experimentation.
First off, Learning Python shows the relationships among Python scripts and their interpreter (in a mostly platform-neutral way). Then, the authors address the mechanics of the language itself, providing illustrations of how Python conceives of numbers, strings and other objects as well as the operators you use to work with them. Dictionaries, lists, tuples and other data structures specific to Python receive plenty of attention including complete examples.
Authors Mark Lutz and David Ascher build on that fundamental information in their discussions of functions and modules, which evolve into coverage of namespaces, classes and the object-oriented aspects of Python programming. There's also information on creating graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for Python applications with Tkinter.
In addition to its careful expository prose, Learning Python includes exercises that both test your Python skills and help reveal more elusive truths about the language.
...will give you a good feel for the language and get you started if you want to learn it. -- Jerry Pournell, Byte.com March 4, 2002