To compile a text encompassing all aspects of etiology, pathogenesis, physiology, diagnosis, and treatment of the obstructive pulmonary diseases would be a Herculean task. Rodman and Sterling accepted the challenge and preface their effort by describing the magnitude of the problem and admitting that their goal is ambitious. Their proposed plan to synthesize the available knowledge, present a realistic therapeutic approach, and reach a large audience, if accomplished, would have resulted in the best reference source yet available in the field. The table of contents, the printer's format, the selection of illustrative material, and the index achieve these ends acceptably. Save for some redundancy and conflicting emphasis, especially in the one third of the book devoted to therapy, the sometimes humorous style is easily read, but the overall presentation falls short of the authors' desired goals.
The written text fails because it lacks adequate annotation. The authors admit that they