The publication of this book in 1970 marked the culmination of a particularly exciting period in the history of the topology of manifolds. The world of high-dimensional manifolds had been opened up to the classification methods of algebraic topology by Thom's work in 1952 on transversality and cobordism, the signature theorem of Hirzebruch in 1954, and by the discovery of exotic spheres by Milnor in 1956. In the 1960s, there had been an explosive growth of interest in the surgery method of understanding the homotopy types of manifolds (initially in the differentiable category), including results such as the $h$-cobordism theory of Smale (1960), the classification of exotic spheres by Kervaire and Milnor (1962), Browder's converse to the Hirzebruch signature theorem for the existence of a manifold in a simply connected homotopy type (1962).It also includes the $s$-cobordism theorem of Barden, Mazur, and Stallings (1964), Novikov's proof of the topological invariance of the rational Pontrjagin classes of differentiable manifolds (1965), the fibering theorems of Browder and Levine (1966) and Farrell (1967), Sullivan's exact sequence for the set of manifold structures within a simply connected homotopy type (1966), Casson and Sullivan's disproof of the Hauptvermutung for piecewise linear manifolds (1967), Wall's classification of homotopy tori (1969), and Kirby and Siebenmann's classification theory of topological manifolds (1970). The original edition of the book fulfilled five purposes by providing: a coherent framework for relating the homotopy theory of manifolds to the algebraic theory of quadratic forms, unifying many of the previous results; 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; the extension of surgery theory from the differentiable and piecewise linear categories to the topological category; a survey of most of the activity in surgery up to 1970; and, a setting for the subsequent development and applications of the surgery classification of manifolds. This new edition of this classic book is supplemented by notes on subsequent developments. References have been updated and numerous commentaries have been added. The volume remains the single most important book on surgery theory.
In 1977 several eminent mathematicians were invited to Durham to present papers at a short conference on homological and combinatorial techniques in group theory. The lectures, published here, aimed at presenting in a unified way new developments in the area. Group theory is approached from a geometrical viewpoint and much of the material has not previously been published. The various ways in which topological ideas can be used in group theory are also brought together. The volume concludes with an extensive set of problems, ranging from explicit questions demanding detailed calculation to fundamental questions motivating research in the area. These lectures will be of interest mainly to researchers in pure mathematics but will also prove useful in connection with relevant postgraduate courses.