A controversy, to be stimulating, ought to be truly disputatious. This requires conflicting opinions. The discussants should have firm convictions and vigorously marshall facts to support their viewpoints and to refute those of their adversaries.
I am sure Drs. Reid and Barton thought about these things when they planned their book. They chose 58 knowledgeable contributors for it, 35 from New England and the eastern United States and only 12 from west of the Alleghenies. This sectionalism may explain why some of the discussions lack the sharpness and aggressiveness that would be expected from the book's title. Authors farther removed from the eastern seaboard might have offered a greater diversity of opinion.
The editors selected only five gynecologic subjects for discussion, compared with 15 on obstetrics. Most gynecologists could easily come up with a dozen topics for debate.
Most of the contributions are relatively short reviews of the assigned subjects,