From the Preface:
`The functional-analytic approach to uniform algebras is inextricably interwoven with the theory of analytic functions. [T]he concepts and techniques introduced to deal with these problems [of uniform algebras], such as ``peak points' and ``parts,' provide new insights into the classical theory of approximation by analytic functions. In some cases, elegant proofs of old results are obtained by abstract methods. The new concepts also lead to new problems in classical function theory, which serve to enliven and refresh that subject. In short, the relation between functional analysis and the analytic theory is both fascinating and complex, and it serves to enrich and deepen each of the respective disciplines.' This volume includes a Bibliography, List of Special Symbols, and an Index. Each of the chapters is followed by notes and numerous exercises.