Physiology of Man in the Desert

by E. F. Adolph and associates, Department of Physiology, University of Rochester. Facsimile of the 1947 edition. xiii + 357 pages, illustrated. Hafner Publishing Company, 31 East 10th Strect, New York, N. Y. 1969. $11

Knut Schmidt-Nielsen Department of Zoology Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27706

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This book was first published in 1947, and its good aspects fully justify a reprint. In the intervening years much information has been added to the literature, but there has been surprisingly little change in the basic understanding of “Man in the Desert,” and the main conclusions of this book remain unchallenged.

The book is based on the war-time investigations by a group of physiologists headed by E. F. Adolph of the University of Rochester. The main contribution of this group was that they asked simple questions and obtained clear and definite answers. Previously accepted lore, half-truths, and misinformation were replaced by accurate statements of fact in regard to man's responses to desert temperatures and lack of water.

In my opinion the single most important contribution was that these investigators dispelled, I hope forever, the notion that man, through hardship and training, can be taught or trained to get along in the desert with substantially less water than he will drink if he can have all he wishes.

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