Publisher Summary The Aridisols and associated desert soils are important resources in some places but are easily misused. Aridisols occur on a wide variety of landforms and lithologic types. They are most common on stable land surfaces of late Pleistocene or greater age, which suggests their diagnostic horizons require considerable time to form. Some have suitable topography, and physical and chemical conditions for irrigated agriculture if water can be made available—but they require continuously disciplined and knowledgeable management. Other desert landscapes can provide healthy, pleasant, oasis-like living environments for large numbers of people supported by an industrial culture—these uses and supporting agriculture also require soils information. The soil resources of the United States deserts are being mapped rapidly in general terms; other desert areas remain largely unknown. Map interpretations are supported by much less research than for most other soil areas and commonly must be applied to cartographically generalized map units. Continued successful soil development and use will require managers as innovative as nature itself.