It is a great relief to see this monumental work finally printed. Professor Ambraseys has towered over research into historical earthquakes for 50 years. He didn't invent the subject, but he certainly demonstrated how it should be done to standards that make it effective, with a level of scholarship that very few people can match. That it is important is beyond doubt: earthquakes repeat on particular faults only every few hundred or thousand years, even in places that are moving quickly, like California. The modern, high-quality, instrumental record of earthquakes provided by seismology is only about one hundred years long,...

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