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Topology: 1978 Lecture Notes (Lecture Notes Series) (Volume 6) Paperback – November 21, 2013
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First --- 5 stars for the writing and the mathematics of Robert Geroch. Insight, creativity, inspiration, and relation to physics ---- all top notch. Much of the material here has the same flavor as that in his book Mathematical Physics (University of Chicago Press). The latter should be on the shelf of all practicing and aspiring mathematical/theoretical physicists. The book under review is primarily point set topology, but it is the viewpoint which is so interesting.
Second ---- -1 stars for the proof reading of this book. Yes, a negative number of stars! There are way too many typographical errors. For the expert this is not a problem, but for the beginner it drastically decreases the value of the book. For example on page 5 there is a confusing discussion about the difference between the boundary and the interior of a set. `Each is to assign to a given set another set which is its interior.' O.K., but what follows is confusing and probably a mistranscription. And the interior of a circle is spelled disk or disc within the same paragraph. One wonders why the publisher didn't hire a grad student to proof read Geroch's notes. Or why Geroch didn't want the final product to look better than it does. But can we blame him?
We may never know, but quite possibly it was a publisher hungry to quickly publish something that was not quite ready for market, and who wanted to maximize his bottom line. This is one of the things wrong with publishing today