March 1964

Of Reviews and Reviewers

Arch Intern Med. 1964;113(3):455-457. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.00280090141023

From time to time, Dr. Di Cyan and I have discussed and debated the objectives and weaknesses of some of our ideas in the essay which follows. We hope that our caveat will stimulate the reader to cast his speculations into the general area which we discuss. We urge readers to refresh themselves by reading two earlier essays by William B. Bean: "Some Musing on Reviewing Medical Books" (Arch Intern Med97:497, 1956) and "A Critique of Criticism in Medicine and the Biological Sciences in 1958" Perspect Biol Med 1:224, 1958). D.B.S.

Few dispute the fact that the intellect needs its special food in order to thrive. Among varieties of pabulum, books offer a choice form. They feed the informational reservoir from which spring informed fools as well as knowledgeable men. Books offer many other diversions or goodies, of course; many of us find that, through books, we prefer to communicate with dead

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