The subject of this book is the classification theory and geometry of higher dimensional varieties: existence and geometry of rational curves via chracteristic p-methods, manifolds, with negative Kodaira dimension, vanishing theorems, theory of extermal rays (Mori theory), and minimal models. The book gives a state-of-the-art introduction to a difficult and not readily accessible subject which has undergone enormous development in the last two decades. With no loss of precision, the volume focuses on the spread of ideas rather than on a deliberate inclusion of all proofs. The methods presented vary from complex analysis to complex algebraic geometry and algebraic geometry over fields of positive characteristics. The intended audience includes students in algebraic geometry and complex analysis as well as researchers in these fields and experts from other areas who wish to gain an overview of the theory.