Xll EDITOR'S FOREWORD TO THE SECOND EDITION The book fulfilled five purposes, providing: 1. a coherent framework for relating the homotopy theory of manifolds to the algebraic theory of quadratic forms, unifying many of the previous results 2. a surgery obstruction theory for manifolds with arbitrary fundamental group, including the exact sequence for the set of manifold structures within a homotopy type, and many computations 3. the extension of surgery theory from the differentiate and piecewise linear categories to the topological category 4. a survey of most of the activity in surgery up to 1970 5. a setting for the subsequent development and applications of the surgery classification of manifolds. However, despite the book's great influence it is not regarded as an 'easy read'. In this edition I have tried to lighten the heavy demands placed on the reader by suggesting that §§0, 7,8, 9,12 could be omitted the first time round - it is possible to take in a substantial proportion of the foundations of surgery theory in Parts 1 and 2 and the applications in Part 3 without these chapters. Readers unfamiliar with surgery theory should have the papers of Milnor [Ml2], Kervaire and Milnor [K4] at hand, and see how the construction and classifica- tion of exotic spheres fits into the general theory. Also, the books of Browder [B24] and Novikov [N9] provide accounts of surgery from the vantage points of two pioneers of the field. My own experience with reading this book was somewhat unusual. I was a first-year graduate student at Cambridge, working on Novikov's paper [N8], when the book reached the bookshops in early 1971*. When I finally acquired a copy, I was shocked to note that the very last reference in the book was to [N8], so that in effect I read the book backwards. The book accompanied me throughout my career as a graduate student (and beyond) - I always had it with me on my visits home, and once my mother asked me: 'Haven't you finished reading it yet?' My own research and books on surgery have been my response to this book, which I have still not finished reading. Preparing the second edition of the book was an even more daunting experience than reading the first edition. It would be impossible to give a full account of all the major developments in surgery which followed the first edition without at least doubling the length of the book - the collections of papers [C7], [F10] include surveys of many areas of surgery theory. In particular, I have not even tried to do justice to the controlled and bounded theories (Quinn [Q6], Ferry and Pedersen [F9]), which are among the most important developments in surgery *I have a vivid memory of telephoning the Foyles bookshop in London in search of a copy, and being directed to the medical department.
Previous Page Next Page