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This comprehensive textbook on combinatorial optimization puts special emphasis on theoretical results and algorithms with provably good performance, in contrast to heuristics.
It has arisen as the basis of several courses on combinatorial optimization and more special topics at graduate level. Since the complete book contains enough material for at least four semesters (4 hours a week), one usually selects material in a suitable way.
The book contains complete (but concise) proofs, also for many deep results, some of which did not appear in a book before. Many very recent topics are covered as well, and many references are provided. Thus this book represents the state of the art of combinatorial optimization.
From the reviews of the 2nd edition:
"This book on combinatorial optimization is a beautiful example of the ideal textbook. [....] The second edition (with corrections and many updates) of this very recommendable book documents the relevant knowledge on combinatorial optimization and records those problems and algorithms that define this discipline today. To read this is very stimulating for all the researchers, practitioners, and students interested in combinatorial optimization."
J. Köhler, Halle an der Saale
ELSEVIER Operations Research Letters, 2005, Issue 33.[via]