The editors who took over the book of the late Thomas M. Rivers have upheld the high standards of previous editions. The topics are well chosen, and the contributor for a given topic is in general the best qualified in that field.
The explosive growth of our knowledge of molecular events occurring in the virus-infected cell is reflected in the first few chapters. Most of this growth has occurred since the previous edition, necessitating complete revision. Although the book is concerned with viral and rickettsial diseases of man, the editors have wisely included a chapter by Cohen on biochemical events taking place in phage-infected bacterial cells. Bacterial lysogeny also is meaningful for the animal virologist, and it would have seemed justified to have devoted a chapter to this subject; there is, however, less than one page.
Approximately the last two thirds of the book is devoted to discussions of viral