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January 23, 1960

CRITICISM OF CRITICISM

JAMA. 1960;172(4):369. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020040067021

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  A review of "Current Problems in Allergy and Immunology" appeared in The Journal, Oct. 31, page 1270. Traditionally, there is no appeal from the pronouncements of those who review books, but the reviewer of this book has taken a position so extreme that he is open to serious criticism. Excepting a handful of papers in the volume, which are devoted to basic research, he characterizes the work as "poor," "mediocre," and "faddish."In assessing the value of the work of a full 100 contributors, a reviewer might be expected to choose examples of material with which he could not agree, but there is something ridiculous about any critic, no matter how eminent, who condemns the work of so widely representative a group as being "likely to mislead the uninformed reader" and "recommended only to those who already possess a good, discriminative acquaintance with the field." In one

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