Like most pathologists, I reserve space on my shelves for the Tumor Fascicles of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. These slim volumes are not much to look at. Stiff gray paper covers them, and either black plastic spines or plain staples hold them together. Yet each year, my fascicles grow more dog-eared, and eagerly I buy each new one when it becomes available.
Why? Well, I can count on each being written by a single pathologist —at the most two—who are experts in a given field. That makes it cohesive and gives it a ring of authority. I can count on a listing of synonyms and thumbnail accounts of normal anatomy; this provides perspective. I can count on the author or authors drawing on a large series of cases, either from their own institution or from the files of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. This dimension of breadth