This book presents the first comprehensive introduction to free probability theory, a highly noncommutative probability theory with independence based on free products instead of tensor products. Basic examples of this kind of theory are provided by convolution operators on free groups and by the asymptotic behavior of large Gaussian random matrices. The probabilistic approach to free products has led to a recent surge of new results on the von Neumann algebras of free groups. The book is ideally suited as a textbook for an advanced graduate course and could also provide material for a seminar. In addition to researchers and graduate students in mathematics, this book will be of interest to physicists and others who use random matrices.