edited by René J. Dubos, Ph.D., Professor, The Rockefeller Institute, and James G. Hirsch, M.D., Professor, The Rockefeller Institute, with 41 contributors. xiii + 1025 pages, illustrated, fourth edition. J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia. 1965. $14.50
The fourth edition of this superb textbook twin is an improvement over earlier editions, good as those were. Dr. Dubos is a gifted writer of medical literature and his first two chapters on the evolution of medical microbiology and microbial diseases are a fitting introduction to the world of microbes and their human enemies. Ten new authors participate in the first thirteen chapters on theoretical microbiology, including such new “hot” topics as bacterial metabolism, genetics and endotoxins. This last topic deserves more space than the two pages allotted to it. The chapter on blood groups included in previous editions has quite properly been deleted from this text on microbiology. The fresh viewpoints obtained from these investigators more than make up for the unevenness of style which is inevitable with multiple authorship.
In the main section of the book dealing with specific microbiologic entities, less can be said for improvement. Although the editors state in their preface that “each of these chapters has been rewritten and brought up to date,” it is apparent that several writers have done remarkably little with pencil and paper.