This is an odd book. It is subtitled ‘What we know (and don’t know) about earthquakes’ and is written by a serious and respected research seismologist in the United States Geological Survey who is well-qualified to address such a subject. It is well-informed, accurate, and broad in scope, ranging over why earthquakes occur, the mechanics of faulting and the earthquake rupture process, various aspects of earthquake engineering and seismic hazard assessment, and also earthquake prediction. But who is it for? In the Preface, the author correctly identifies a substantial gap between the accuracy and level of understanding of earthquakes that...

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