This is a well-written textbook with a pragmatic orientation toward practice, chock-full of hard-to-find clinical tidbits. Because of its British roots, the tome is more international in coverage than US texts, such as the Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry/VI (Baltimore, Md: Williams & Wilkins; reviewed in JAMA, March 20, 1996). Accordingly, its pages contain many cross-cultural pearls. Comparisons with the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) are made throughout. Sometimes authors follow the ICD-10 criteria, other times DSMIVcriteria, depending on which they feel are more useful to the clinician; thus, the reader is afforded both classifications.
Each of the 22 chapters begins with a useful introduction explaining crucial concepts and principles of the various types of psychiatric disorders, helping the reader to organize the massive amount of data presented. Rather than appearing in a stand-alone chapter,