vols 1 and 2, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, translated by Neely Swanson and Larry W. Swanson (History of Neuroscience, No. 6), 805 pp, 806 pp, with illus, $195, ISBN 0-19-507401 -7, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 1995.
Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934) mastered the Golgi stain to become the greatest neurohistologist to date. His autobiography has been reviewed in these pages.1 The Spanish histologist's great masterpiece on the structure of nerve cells was published in French in two volumes in 1909 and 1911. This work evolved from a series of invited lectures that were published in Spanish in 1904.
Ramón y Cajal worked closely with a French translator and added more than 100 figures, so that Histologie du Système Nerveux was really a new work. Now two Americans have translated this historical text into English and republished the work, complete with its original illustrations.
The translators have transposed the complex French into American-style English with modern anatomical terms, but have resisted the temptation to correct or amplify Ramón y Cajal's observations. The work includes a thorough index using both modern and historical terminology. The figures are
Freemon FR. Histology of the Nervous System of Man and Vertebrates. JAMA. 1996;275(6):493. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530300077050