“Nature to be commanded” is not only the first part of a justly famous aphorism of Francis Bacon (1526-1626), the pointed ending being “must be obeyed,” but it has been adopted as the title of one of the most remarkable of all the publications of the U.S. Geological Survey. If anyone should pick up this volume and wonder why the Geological Society of America is concerned with the geology that underlies cities, one glance at USGS Professional Paper No. 950 (G. D. Robinson and A. M. Spieker, editors) will set all such doubts at rest. Large in page size (so that it cannot be "tucked away" in a filing cabinet), the paper is vividly illustrated in brilliant colors. Through examples chosen from six very different areas, it shows clearly how geology controls all the development work of man. The title is well chosen since, if nature is to be controlled, as it must be in the orderly development of towns and cities, it must be obeyed in a manner that an accurate knowledge of the local geology alone makes possible.
This message from Francis Bacon is known and appre-ciated by the members of the Engineering Geology Division of the Society. Officers of the Division, in keeping with this imperative, decided to highlight the importance of geology under cities at the Society's annual meeting in Toronto in 1978. As Dr. McLaren has kindly indicated in his Foreword, the symposium on this subject was well received; this volume is one result. It