This massive loose-leaf work comprises, in four 1½-inch-thick volumes, a total of about 570 essays by more than 200 contributors, edited to some degree by the four editors. The total number of contributors could only be counted by computer, since those in each volume are listed in that volume (with some inadvertent omissions, such as Nancy Esterly from vol 1 and W. Alan Dodd from vol 4). Illustrations are large, clear, and abundant; references are almost too copious, running to two or three pages at times; the index runs to 73 pages in a separate volume.
As always, the multiple-contributor system makes for uneven quality, though in general it is very high. Outstanding large sections are those by Robert Crounse (diseases of hair), Irwin Braverman (collagen diseases), Sidney Olansky (syphilis), and Herbert Gass (leprosy). An authoritative and disappointingly brief section on the laser was contributed by Leon Goldman. A copiously