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Preface - Pg. xi

Preface Our goal in this book is to explain as many important theorems, examples, and techniques as possible, as quickly and directly as possible, while at the same time giving (nearly) full details and keeping the text (nearly) self- contained. This book contains some simplifications of known approaches and proofs, the exposition of some results that are not readily available, and some new material as well. We have tried to incorporate many of the "greatest hits" of the subject, as well as its small quirks and gems. There are a number of other references that cover various of the topics we cover here (and more). We would especially like to mention the books by Abikoff [1], Birman [24], Casson­Bleiler [44], Fathi­Laudenbach­Po´ naru e [61], and Hubbard [97], as well as the survey papers by Harer [84] and Ivanov [107]. The works of Bers [14, 15] on Teichm¨ ller's theorems and on u the Nielsen­Thurston classification theorem have had a particularly strong influence on this book.