Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
edited by Sherwood L. Gorbach, John B. Bartlett, and Neil R. Blacklow, 2nd ed, 2594 pp, with illus, $225, ISBN 0-7216-6119-X, Philadelphia, Pa, WB Saunders Co, 1998.
Question: How do medical textbooks differ from Hollywood's best movies?
Answer: Sequels are almost always better than the original.
Even if the first edition of a textbook had few faults, subsequent editions are improvements in many ways: some errors are corrected, layout, typography, and illustrations can be modernized and made more "user friendly," and—most important—information can be updated. To continue the cinematic metaphor, as the curtain rises on this new edition of Gorbach, Bartlett, and Blacklow's Infectious Diseases, readers are sure to award this a "thumbs up" response. It is not that there were problems with the first edition published 6 years ago. (Can you remember back that far, before we became concerned about penicillin-resistant pneumococci and prior to the discovery of the association between human herpes virus 8 and Kaposi sarcoma?) No, the first edition was well received, and quickly joined Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases on most medical library shelves as a preferred infectious diseases reference (more to say about this later).
Infectious DiseasesInfectious Diseases. JAMA. 1998;280(6):573. doi:10.1001/jama.280.6.573