October 23, 1991

Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice

Author Affiliations

Columbia, SC

Columbia, SC


by Ronald Hoffman, Edward J. Benz, Jr, Sanford J. Shattil, Bruce Furie, and Harvey J. Cohen, 1919 pp, with illus, $110, ISBN 0-443-08643-5, New York, NY, Churchill Livingstone, 1991.

JAMA. 1991;266(16):2296. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470160128049

As I was reviewing this new hematology text, I was also reading Lester King's second edition of Why Not Say It Clearly. In the preface he quotes that wonderful line from Ecclesiastes, "Of making many books there is no end." The quotation could have been expanded to say, "some of which are very good." That qualified quote would certainly apply to this text by Hoffman et al.

It seems to me that there are two basic requirements for the production of an effective textbook. First of all, the contributors (most books are multiauthored, with perhaps the exception of Jandl's Blood) must be competent in areas about which they write, and most of the time this is the case. Equally important, though, is the requirement that the writer present material that is clear and easy to read and appropriate for the intended audience. The editors have successfully accomplished both of these