Oxford Classic Texts in the Physical Sciences. Oxford: Oxford University Press. xxi, 646 p. £20.00 (1998).
It is the purpose of the Oxford Classic Texts series to reissue textbooks and monographs that have reached the status of being considered as classic. The book by the late Nobel prize winner S. Chandrasekhar on black holes certainly meets these standards. It first appeared in 1983 and was immediately recognized as perfectly complementing the book by S. W. Hawking and G. F. R. Ellis [‘The large scale structure of space-time’ (Cambridge Mon. of Math. Phys. 1, Cambridge Univ. Press) (1973; Zbl 0265.53054)]; whereas the latter concentrates on the geometric aspects of black holes (and other types of singular spacetimes), Chandrasekhar’s book emphasizes analytical aspects such as calculating geodesics and applying perturbation techniques. Apart from elimination of misprints (for the 1985 third edition Chandrasekhar checked “all the calculations ab initio”) the book remained unchanged from the first edition. Therefore, as to the content I can refer to the review of the first edition [Zbl 0511.53076]. I only want to add that in the meantime the book has become even more relevant by the fact that we are now almost convinced that there is a black hole at the center of our galaxy, whereas in 1983 there was actually no really stringent evidence for the existence of black holes.
Chandrasekhar’s book is certainly not an introductory text. But everywhone who wants to study the subject of black holes at a technical level will have to acquaint himself with the material presented. The new addition, which is available at a rather moderate prize, is certainly highly welcome.