My first surprise on receiving this second (1984) edition for review was that I had never heard of the first (1976). Surprise number two was the ambitiousness of the undertaking: to create an authoritative textbook with special relevance to the practitioner in Africa. The third surprise was the degree to which the book succeeds.
The contributions of the well selected array of authors are based upon their first-hand experience in practicing medicine in Africa. As a multi-authored book, however, it is readable and uniform in style—attributable apparently to the editor's wife (alas, we are not told her name).
The scope of the book is impressive. The first four chapters, which deal with the relationship between disease and climate, people, food and agriculture, and animals, are well written and exemplify the fact that this book, in teaching principles of medicine in Africa, goes far beyond the narrow confines of the purely clinical arena.