As the title implies, this is a short book (201 pages)—a distillation of what its authors believe to be the "essentials of cardiology." The book is divided into 4 subsections, the first of which is devoted to certain signs of heart disease. The second deals with the electrocardiogram, x-ray, and cardiac catheterization, and the third describes certain clinical cardiac syndromes, such as congestive failure and arrhythmias. The final section covers the diagnosis and management of various etiologic types of heart disease.
The book's small size in itself commends it in a day when medical texts are often too heavy to lift from the shelf. It also contains some fine descriptions which undoubtedly reflect the care and interest its authors take in the rapidly disappearing art of the physical examination—all of which is in the best British tradition. In keeping their book small, however, the authors have omitted rather than distilled.