The R project webpage provides a succinct description of the R language and environment.

At the start, one might want to look at the official R manual An Introduction to R.

A good book to start learning is

Another gentle introduction to R is R for Beginners by Emmanuel Paradis.

*The New S Language*by Richard A. Becker, John M. Chambers, and Allan R. Wilks (Chapman & Hall, 1988), a.k.a. the "Blue Book"; covers S version 2*Statistical Models in S*by John M. Chambers and Trevor J. Hastie (Chapman & Hall, 1992), a.k.a. the "White Book"; covers S version 3*Programming with Data*by John M. Chambers (Springer, 1998), a.k.a. the "Green Book"; covers S version 4*Software for Data Analysis: Programming with R*by John M. Chambers (Springer, 2008)*Modern Applied Statistics with S, 4th Edition*by William N. Venables and Brian D. Ripley (Springer, 2002)*S Programming*by William N. Venables and Brian D. Ripley (Springer, 2000)*Introductory Statistics with R, 2nd Edition*by Peter Dalgaard (Springer, 2008)*Data Analysis and Graphics Using R, 2nd Edition*by John Maindonald and John Braun (Cambridge, 2003)*Using R for Introductory Statistics*by John Verzani (Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2005)*The R Book*by Michael J. Crawley (Wiley, 2007)*Statistics: An Introduction using R*by Michael J. Crawley (Wiley, 2005)*Statistical Computing: An Introduction to Data Analysis using S-Plus*by Michael J. Crawley (Wiley, 2002)*A Handbook of Statistical Analyses Using R*by Brian Everitt and Torsten Hothorn (Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2006)*Statistical Computing with R*by Maria L. Rizzo (Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2008)*A First Course in Statistical Programming with R*by W. John Braun and Duncan J. Murdoch (Cambridge, 2007)*Data Manipulation with R*by Phil Spector (Springer, 2008)*The Basics of S-PLUS, 4th Edition*by Andreas Krause and Melvin Olson (Springer, 2005)*Introduction to Probability with R*by Kenneth Baclawski (Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2008)*Probability and Statistics with R*by María Dolores Ugarte, Ana F. Militino, and Alan T. Arnholt (Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2008)- R: A language for data analysis and graphics, by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman, Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, 5(3):299-314, 1996
- Lexical scope and statistical computing, by Robert Gentleman and Ross Ihaka, Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, 9(3):491-508, 2000
- Data Analysts Captivated by R's Power, by Ashlee Vance, New York Times, January 6, 2009
- R You Ready for R?, by Ashlee Vance, New York Times, January 8, 2009
- R for SAS and SPSS Users, by Robert A. Muenchen (Springer, 2008)

- Linux (choose your version of Linux and follow the directions)
- Mac OS X (begin with the latest version dmg)
- Windows (begin with the base distribution exe)

- R Homepage (The R Project for Statistical Computing)
- CRAN (The Comprehensive R Archive Network)
- Mailing Lists
- FAQ
- Related Projects