This is a big book. It is decidedly concentrated and ambitious in its goals. We are assured (p. 1) that Minerals (subtitled “Their constitution and origin”) is … “an introduction to mineralogy for undergraduate and graduate students in the fields of geology, materials science, and environmental sciences. It has been designed as a textbook for use on a semester course…” A few pages further on (p. xvii), it gets a bit stickier: “The content of the whole book seems to us the minimum one would expect a mineralogy graduate student to know before entering a qualifying examination” (authors’ emphasis). The...

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