Lliboutry is an imaginative physicist with a vast scientific knowledge. On most problems that he discusses, he likes to formulate his own solutions, and he formulates them with frankness and, often, abruptness. I was, thus, curious to read his new textbook, which is for geological as well as geophysical university students.
I must say that I was not disappointed. This is an original and interesting book, and I know of no equivalent. It has an excellent table of contents: earthquakes and structure of the earth; earth magnetic field; remanent magnetization; seafloor spreading; subduction; present plate kinematics; past plate kinematics; nature of crust and mantle; isostasy, low velocity zone, and heat flow; vertical motion; elastic and plastic deformations and ruptures; mechanical properties of plates and mantle; nature of lower mantle and differentiation of crust and hot spots; driving mechanisms; tectonic mechanisms; and orogenesis. There is a limited amount of mathematics. Consequently, geologists should not find it too hard reading, although the demonstrations may be too concise for most students in geology. On the other hand, the geological vocabulary is very limited, and each new term is introduced by a short explanation. No previous knowledge of any geology or geophysics is assumed. References are given in an abbreviated form within the text, and there is a combined subject-author index. The book is well illustrated, mostly with generally well-chosen figures from major papers.