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September 19, 1959

Handbuch der Thoraxchirurgie (Encyclopedia of Thoracic Surgery). Zweiter Band, spezieller Teil I

JAMA. 1959;171(3):370-371. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010210122024

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This second volume deals with the surgery of the chest wall, pleura, diaphragm, heart, and great vessels. It is an excellent example of the German genius for painstaking and laborious scholarship. It is truly encyclopedic. To anyone who is familiar with the German medical literature before the last war and who has lived by and with manuals of this type, the appearance of this book should be welcome, not only for itself but because it signals the reentry of the German genius to world medical literature.

To be of permanent value, a medical textbook must be an exhaustive review of the literature which depicts not only the current status of knowledge and practice but also their history and evolution. A complete bibliography is essential, as exemplified by Nothnagel's Encyclopedia of Medicine, which still supplies the reader with all that had been thought and said on the subject up to the

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