Marine geology was blessed early, about 30 years ago, with two great textbooks, one by P.H. Kuenen, the other by Francis P. Shepard, but in more recent years, no one has dared synthesize a field that has become so diverse and is growing so rapidly. There are many texts written for the beginning undergraduate student, mostly by marine geologists, but none can be handed conveniently to a serious advanced student or given to a colleague interested in what the field has wrought. The reason for this regrettable state is obvious; only an active, major scholar could hope to write such a book well, but the years would pass, his students dwindle, his grants vanish. He himself might be out of date before his book was. Kennett has earned a large measure of gratitude for his attempt to undertake this task. His personal price must have been high but so are our rewards.