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Book and Software Review
June 2000

The Pupil: Anatomy, Physiology, and Clinical Applications, Volumes I and II

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Arch Ophthalmol. 2000;118(6):864. doi:

The Pupil includes 2300 pages, 2 volumes, 6 kg of paper, approximately 14,000 references—all about a little black hole in the iris. How could one possibly write so much about the pupil? Will anybody want to read it? These questions have already been answered: what we hold in our hands (or arms, because it is really heavy) is the second edition. The first edition has been sold out.

This great work summarizes the scientific life of Otto Lowenstein, MD, and Irene Loewenfeld, PhD. Lowenstein's main interest was dedicated to pupil research. He had to leave Germany in 1933, where he worked as a professor of psychiatry at the University of Bonn. After some years in Switzerland, he emigrated to New York, NY, where he met Loewenfeld, who worked initially for him as a technician. A unique cooperation between 2 brilliant and dedicated scientists began. Both had German roots and were forced to leave their homeland because of "German political developments" as Loewenfeld euphemistically expresses it. Lowenstein was responsible for the clinical component and Loewenfeld mainly for the basic research. Most of our contemporary knowledge about the pupil is based on their common effort.

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