Foundations of Epidemiology

2nd edition, by Abraham M. Lilienfeld and David E. Lilienfeld. xv + 375 pages, illustrated. Oxford University Press, 200 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016. 1980. Cloth, $17.95; paper, $11.95

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  • School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112

If the American health community were to select a dean of epidemiology it would surely be Professor Abraham (Abe) Lilienfeld of the John Hopkins University. He and his son David have collaborated in producing one of the most lucid, stimulating, and useful books available for learning or reference about the ever increasing important discipline of epidemiology.

Biostatistical skill is indispensable if one is to practice epidemiology, in either the planning, conduct, or analysis of studies. The Lilienfelds have integrated the biostatistics so deftly into the discipline that understanding of biostatistical techniques comes easily and clearly, permitting the novice to not only appreciate the nuance of sound scientific methodology, but to correctly manipulate statistical data and test hypotheses.

The chapter on the Threads of Epidemiologic History is a revealing and provocative look at the contribution of the great epidemiologists from Hippocrates, to Fracastoro, to Lind and on. Fresh insight into the contribution of individuals like C.P.A.