One is always reticent about reviewing a digest such as the Scientific Basis of Medicine because the chapter headings are so forbidding. This is the case in the Annual Reviews for 1969. Each of the 19 chapters in this digest are detailed discussions by experts in their field. A single glance lets one know that most of the chapters cannot be read rapidly. Like good brandy, they must be assimilated slowly.
Previous publications of this organization have almost invariably been praised for their excellence as reviews dealing with new medical knowledge. In this respect I find the current issue somewhat disappointing.
As with many compilations, the viewpoints, interpretations, and presentations of authors and topics vary in their appeal. Some of the chapters in this review are superb; for example, the chapters on "Histochemistry of Atherosclerosis," "The Regulation of Cerebral Circulation," "Cell-Mediated Immunological Response," and "The Possible Chemotherapy of Respiratory Virus