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January 24, 1986


Author Affiliations

University of California, Davis, Medical Center Sacramento

JAMA. 1986;255(4):550. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370040126044

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Fields' Virology is a comprehensive effort 1,614 pages in length with 64 contributors, all recognized investigators and teachers. The book is a nice blend of basic virology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, immunology, and medical aspects or implications. The authors, many of whom have medical degrees, move effortlessly from the molecular biology of viral agents to their clinical behavior. The result is a comprehensive, current, and carefully documented text, which will serve as an authoritative reference for graduate students, medical students, physicians, laboratory workers, and others interested in the biology of animal viruses.

I was struck by the clarity, organization, and content of the individual chapters. Each begins with a clear statement of purpose; terms are defined, basic biology illustrated, studies critically reviewed, conclusions summarized, and hopes or expectations for the future cautiously presented.

This hefty volume has been lying on my desk during the past few weeks. I found it useful when