It is perhaps embarrassing to review a decade-old book; your reviewer was familiar with the first edition of Prof. Nesse’s text, published in 1986, but somehow missed the second edition, published five years later. The reasons for his oversight can be read between the lines of this review. No matter, it is worthwhile to offer a short evaluation of this fine book, which is in print and much promoted by its publisher.

Optical texts fall into three categories: 1) Texts that treat theory alone, such as “Mineral Optics” by Phillips (1971), “Crystal Identification” by Stoiber and Morse (1994), and “Optical...

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