This book is one of a small but growing number of attempts to bind clinical medicine more firmly with the basic sciences. The concept is altogether admirable; the execution, unfortunately, is flawed. More than 150 distinguished contributors were assembled by the two editors to blend their expertise. Therein lies the principal problem with the book: the uneven quality and irregular format of the various chapters. Some of the authors have written splendidly on the scientific basis of their particular fields of interest. Others have written sections which could grace a standard surgical textbook, but barely touch upon the experimental pillars of their specialty.
One is disappointed to read about congenital heart disease without finding a discussion of embryogenesis. Surely embryology is the scientific foundation of surgery for congenital heart disease and the only intelligent approach to understanding the nature and spectrum ofcongenital abnormalities of the heart. The section by James
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