The task of encompassing the complex field of neurosurgery by writing the definitive text is daunting to say the least. One should marshal the most formidable minds in the field to provide the in-depth coverage demanded. The editors of this monumental three-volume opus, Robert H. Wilkins of Duke University and Setti S. Rengachary of the University of Minnesota, have succeeded in doing just that. Virtually all the contributors have added importantly to the body of knowledge in their assigned areas. The material is up-to-date; generally, about 20% to 30% of the cited references in refereed journals are in the 1990s.
In addition to sections on the historical development of neurosurgery, one finds chapters like "The Art of History Taking" as a well as a complete rendition of the elements of the neurological examination.
Short "courses" are rendered on topics generally regarded as pertinent to neurosurgery, but which have their