Cumming and Semple have undertaken a formidable task in attempting to write a text that encompasses a discussion of both normal lung physiology and human lung disease. Despite their admirable intentions, they have failed to produce a book that will be of value as a standard reference for either medical students or graduate physicians.
This book is divided into two sections—normal lung structure and function, and pathophysiology and human disease. Both sections are subject to the same general criticism. In attempting to write a text of such broad scope while at the same time applying reasonable limits to the length of the book, the authors have been forced to discuss all topics in a very general, superficial manner. Although they are aiming primarily at medical students, this lack of critical discussion detracts markedly from the value of the book for any audience.
In the initial section, important physiologic concepts are