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The distinguished editors of this series have not failed to produce an authoritative book. Yet despite a disclaimer in the preface, they have failed to a degree in their duty to the reader. Those who read volume 1 (warmly acclaimed in The Journal 222:1190, 1972) will have an uncomfortable sensation of déjà vu because of masses of identical text, dozens of identical illustrations, and, usually, few new references in 13 of the 19 chapters. Some contributors made reasonable efforts to augment and update the advances noted in volume 1. Others have made only pallid attempts to change occasional words and phrases. Despite such semantic cosmetics and a few different references, five chapters are indistinguishable from the original. The editors had alternatives: if there were no advances in fields that had to be covered, they could have restricted the original contributors to fresh data, or they might have invited other contributors. That
Spodick DH. Advances in Electrocardiography. JAMA. 1977;237(10):1010–1011. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270370082040
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