If you need an up-to-date reference on the rheumatic diseases, should you purchase this volume, which, in comparison with the 1989 edition of Arthritis and Allied Diseases, edited by D. J. McCarty, is half as long and contains two thirds as many illustrations at half the cost? Katz's aim was to provide "a comprehensive approach that emphasizes how the patient presents clinically to the physician... [particularly] regional and systemic diagnosis, multidisciplinary management, psychosocial interactions...."
The 101 authors, 15 of whom also wrote for McCarty, have largely achieved this goal. The arrangement of manifestations of various diseases by anatomic regions is convenient and excellent for teaching, but necessarily leads to duplication in the description of systemic diseases. However, the text is written clearly, and its conciseness is well supplemented by some relatively simple tables. Other tables and diagnostic algorithms are difficult to read because of their comprehensiveness. For instance, "Differential Diagnosis