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October 1978

Principles of Pediatrics: Health Care For the Young

Am J Dis Child. 1978;132(10):1046-1047. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1978.02120350114034

How does one review a 2,000-page textbook with five editors and 207 authors? One reviewer read completely through the reviewed text and through five other contemporary texts.1 His comparisons were far more valid than mine can be. For what I did was to read the introduction, the general introductory chapters, some chapters authored by each of the editors, and chapters on a dozen or so clinical subjects in which I fancy myself to be somewhat of an expert. I then compared these with similar chapters in other standard textbooks.

How can one be unbiased in such a review, when many of the editors and authors are friends and colleagues? I cannot and I admit that I start out with a bias in favor of its success. Given these limitations, let me try to tell you what the editors have attempted to accomplish and how well I think they have

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