Viral and Rickettsial Diseases of the Skin, Eye and Mucous Membranes of Man
by Harvey Blank, M.D., Squibb Institute for Medical Research, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania; and Geoffrey Rake, M.B., B.S., University of Pennsylvania, Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, Squibb Institute for Medical Research, with a foreword by Donald M. Pillsbury, M.D., University of Pennsylvania. 285 pages, illustrated, with 36 in color. Boston, Toronto: Little, Brown & Company, 1955. Price $8.50
Upon inspection of the Table of Contents and upon noting the types of diseases covered, the question arises as to the purpose and the need for a book encompassing the field described in the title. In the Foreword, it is pointed out that viral and rickettsial infections which involve the skin, the eye, and mucous membranes are common and that “some of them are banal and merely troublesome; others may produce exceedingly chronic and disabling destructive effects upon the skin and mucous membranes; and still others produce cutaneous lesions which are incidental but important signs of systemic disease”. The underlying thread that ties together the diversity of conditions covered in the book is, therefore, the emphasis on ocular, dermal and mucous membrane manifestations and not on the specialty of the practitioner most likely to see the patient.This unifying theme is suggested in the preface, where it is stated that "there is lacking in the presently available literature on viruses and rickettsiae any complete and detailed consideration of many of those diseases that affect primarily the covering of the body, the skin and conjunctive or the mucosa of the external officers.