The Biochemistry of Viruses

edited by Hilton B. Levy, National Institutes of Health. xiv + 657 pages, illustrated. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York and London. 1969. $28.50

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  • Department Epidemiology and Public Health Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06510

This excellent book should be valuable reference for readers of The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene who wish a comprehensive review of basic mechanisms in specific areas of virology. It is not a textbook—it does not attempt to give a coherent coverage of the whole field of virus biochemistry. The book might better be considered in a class with the Advances or the Annual Reviews series of periodicals, despite the fact that there seems to be no intention of issuing successive numbers of the Biochemistry of Viruses.

The 12 individual contributions in this volume are consistent in their format. They are generally less restricted to the most recent publications than the standard review, but the breadth of each topic is quite what we would expect of a paper in one of the annuals. Most of the papers strive to be comprehensive in their literature citations, and to eschew critical evaluation and interpretive hypothesis.