Dive Into Python (Mark
Pilgrim): This is by
far my favorite introduction to Python, and this is how I learned
Python myself. It doesn’t go much into details, but it gives you the
key insights and walks you through the most important things in the
language. You get the most benefit if you’ve worked with a lot of
other programming languages (as he compares to them frequently), but
if you haven’t this is still valuable.
Python Tutorial is a little dry at times, but it’s more comprehensive
than Dive into Python, and since it doesn’t try as hard to dumb things
down it’s a very accurate description of the language.
Learning Python (Mark Lutz):
While the organization of the chapters will only make sense to
seasoned programmers, the content can be a bit more approachable. A
good, well-rounded introduction. (This link only works on networks
with access to Safari Books Online.)