Most of the papers included have been published before, beginning with the early 1980s until 2003, but there a few new ones. The work included in this book, "Selecta Volume C" was done by Mandelbrot while he was working at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center and at Yale University. The book is dedicated to the memory of the author's uncle, Szolem Mandelbrojt, himself a mathematician who greatly influenced his nephew Benoit. The book also includes many illustrations, some of them very easily recognizable.
In his Foreword, Professor Peter W. Jones of Yale University notes: "It is only twenty-three years since Benoit Mandelbrot published his famous picture of what is now called the Mandelbrot set. The graphics available at that time seem primitive today, and Mandelbrot's working drafts were even harder to interpret. But how that picture has changed our views of the mathematical and physical universe!" And later: "What we see in this book is a glimpse of how Mandelbrot helped change our way of looking at the world. It is not just a book about a particular class of problems; it also contains a view on how to approach the mathematical and physical universe."
In his Preface to the book, Mandelbrot emphasizes the fact that, although the book's main goal is to show the interconnections between fractals and chaotic dynamical systems, "this is neither a monograph on those interconnections, nor a textbook."
Of course the mathematical papers are extremely interesting, and a collection of all of them put together by their author is really a treat, but what I have found even more fascinating (and more entertaining to read, even for non-specialists) are the papers dealing with background, historical notes, biographical notes, commentaries, etc. Most of these have not been published before, so there is no hope finding them in another place. I will mention just a few examples, leaving the readers to discover the others for themselves.
Mihaela Poplicher is an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Cincinnati. Her research interests include functional analysis, harmonic analysis, and complex analysis. She is also interested in the teaching of mathematics. Her email address is Mihaela.Poplicher@uc.edu.