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Book and New Media Reviews
September 2004

Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy, 4th ed

Arch Dermatol. 2004;140(9):1175-1176. doi:10.1001/archderm.140.9.1175-b

Some book reviews are so easy one should have to pay for the privilege of writing them. The first edition of Habif's book in 1985 was a breakthough in a technical sense—it was the first American dermatology textbook with pictures to rival the German texts. Today, the fourth edition is a perfect example of "continuous quality improvement." It is instantly recognizable as a worthy successor but better in every way.

To discuss all the merits of Clinical Dermatology would require far more space than a book reviewer is allotted. Let me just tell you about some of the enormous strengths. First, the pictures remain superb. Habif has jumped with ease from medium-format cameras (his "trick" for the first edition) to digital photography. In addition to the advertised "over 1000" illustrations, there is a free CD-ROM with another 2000 images. Thus, for any common dermatologic conditions, there are enough excellent pictures to reveal the entire spectrum of clinical features.