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Since its publication in 1979, Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases (PPID) has become an essential element of every medical library. Infectious diseases clinicians have well-worn home or office copies to which they repeatedly turn. Other less complete infectious diseases texts have come and gone, but with each revision PPID remains the standard. The latest edition, a beautifully packaged two-volume opus of nearly 3000 pages, raises the measure of excellence to a new level.
How does one review a book of this size? Clearly, reading every word (an estimated 2½ million words of text, not counting tens of thousands in the extensive literature citations) in each of the 302 chapters is nearly impossible. Even if one could read technical material at a breakneck and nonstop pace of 300 words per minute, over 140 hours, or more than two weeks of eight-hour days (including weekends), would be required! Lacking the luxury,
Smilack JD. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. JAMA. 1995;274(8):658-659. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530080074049