Here's the link to Tony Soeller's (NACS) Webfiles where he has numerous ArcGIS 
books-on-pdf from which you can choose:

These comments are from Tony Soeller:

Manuals
http://webfiles.nacs.uci.edu/xythoswfs/webui/_xy-142707_1

In particular, I suggest starting with:

What is ArcGIS
Modeling our World 
(overview of GIS and shows applications)
Getting Started with ArcGIS (the Introduction shows applications)
Using ArcMap

The first two books don't require having the software in front of you 
whereas the second two should be read while using ArcGIS.  

ArcGIS actually consists of three modular software packages:
ArcMap
ArcCatalog
ArcToolbox

Most of the GIS data development, program development, and 
GIS display and analyses will be performed using ArcMap. ArcCatalog 
is a utility for managing and viewing GIS data.  It has a functionality
that is similar to Windows Explorer except not all GIS data file 
suffixes are shown.  Rather, only the titles or prefixes of GIS layers
are presented which nicely reduces clutter.  ArcToolbox contains 
many utilities for converting data from formats used by other software 
(such as CAD).

Thanks for inviting me to the presentation yesterday.  Please
let me know if I can help with the proposal.

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My office is in Engineering Gateway, 2nd floor (E2176). 
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One web site of interest is the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative
at UC Berkeley: http://ecai.berkeley.edu/  Of particular interest
is the TimeMap of Korea:
go there
http://ecai.org/Area/AreaTeamExamples/Korea/tm_korea.html

Click on the image to start the animation then watch the 
historical events evolve.  The light gray moving bar at the
bottom of that page shows where you are in history.

The following link describes all the GIS data that are distributed
to us with the ESRI ArcGIS software:
go there
http://www.esri.com/library/whitepapers/pdfs/datamaps2003.pdf

Additional data can be downloaded from the ESRI Geography Network:
go there
http://www.geographynetwork.com/

The UCI Library has a link to sources of attribute data that can be 
incorporated into a GIS at:
go there
http://www.lib.uci.edu/libraries/collections/gis.html

A couple of my favorite sites for interesting maps (which could
be incorporated into a GIS through georeferencing) are
the David Rumsey collection: 
go there 
http://www.davidrumsey.com/ 

and Oddens Bookmarks:
go there
http://oddens.geog.uu.nl/index.html
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