Although in the last fifteen years the patter of the clinical puzzles presented by patients with febrile illness—fever of unexplained origin—has shifted away from infectious diseases toward neoplasms, lymphomas, leukemias, and collagen disorders, subacute bacterial endocarditis remains a challenging problem diagnostically, therapeutically, and in terms of pathogenesis. Here, more than in most diseases, experience is likely to be critical element in reaching a proper diagnosis soon enough to provide appropriate therapy. Kerr's book, which is a repository of the distilled clinical experience in the last seventy-five years, presents a thoughtful discussion of the complicated clinical problems and a comprehensive survey of the evolution of medical thought about bacterial endocarditis as it emerged from a rather confused connection with rheumatic fever to achieve respectable autonomy as an independent disease.
Subacute bacterial endocarditis has no one sign pathognomonic in and of itself. There are many clues which in the aggregate lead the