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November 1967


Arch Intern Med. 1967;120(5):637. doi:10.1001/archinte.1967.00300040121027

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This book consists of lectures presented in January 1964, at a spa in the German Democratic Republic (ie, East Germany). In the introduction, Goethe is quoted: "I know that not much results from these scientific meetings..."; Goethe's following sentences then state advantages of such meetings. In this instance Goethe's opening words suffice.

The lectures overlap. Some have little or nothing to do with viral hepatitis; some contain truisms familiar to backward medical students; some contain errors; most are long-winded (which is usual for oral lectures reproduced in books) and irrelevant. There are many lengthy but worthless tables. One infers from the references that many authors do not read American and British medical articles, and others ceased reading them ten years ago. The index is inadequate and the typography is unsatisfactory.

Publishing this book was a waste of paper; reading it would be a waste of time.

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