November 14, 1980

Compendium of Immunology

Author Affiliations

Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social Subjefatura de Investigación Científica Mexico City


vol 1, by Lazar M. Schwartz, ed 2; 515 pp, with illus, $32.50, New York, Van Nostrand-Reinhold Co, 1980.

JAMA. 1980;244(19):2213. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310190063036

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To write a compendium of current topics in so rapidly evolving a field—both factually and conceptually—as immunology is a formidable task. Dr Schwartz has succeeded in his endeavor, operating as a reader to benefit his fellow readers, as he comments in the preface, and not as an immunology researcher.

Not surprisingly, this compendium of immunology has its shortcomings. Some are apparently inevitable, such as length and repetition. Others are remediable, such as excessive redundancies that occasionally lead to confusion (eg, the terms "prozone" and "postzone" on pages 54 and 62), uneven balance between subjects, somewhat haphazard choice of references (some numbered and cited in the text, others not), and a weak cross-reference system within the Compendium. Most tables are informative, but many figures could have been eliminated (pages 3, 112, 133, 168, 304, and 324) or improved (pages 42, 63, 65, and 66).

It would be impossible to detail