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This is a comprehensive textbook. Fred Helfferich, the coauthor, developed the theory independently from the mathematical theory of shock waves. The latter has -in my view very well- been presented by Peter Lax in "Hyperbolic Systems of Conservation Laws and the Mathematical Theory of Shock Waves", Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Philadelphia, PA, 1973. I found it easier to understand the basics of Helfferich's excellent book by first reading Lax's presentation.