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August 20, 1938

Illness: Its Story and Some Common Symptoms. A Guide for the Layman

JAMA. 1938;111(8):745. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790340081030

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This little volume, measuring 4 by 6 inches and less than five-eighths inch in thickness exclusive of the covers, is an effort to condense too much into too little space. Four pages is devoted to a foreword, five pages to "The Attainment of Health," three pages to "The Meaning of Symptoms," eight pages to "The Causes of Disease" and eleven pages to "The Nature of Disease." Merely to list the headings and the amount of space devoted to their discussion is to expose the inadequacy of this section of the book. In part two are listed "Some Common Symptoms. Their Origin, Significance, and First-Aid Treatment." Each of these symptoms is treated in a brief paragraph which is superficial and in many instances inaccurate. While the book contains much useful information, it usually falls far short of adequate treatment, even of symptoms. Fundamentally the whole idea of giving lay persons a

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