We rarely review books, but make an exception for the Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics,* an encyclopaedia for the thoughtful prescriber. Like its predecessor published 5 years ago, the fifth edition is a multi-author book, but one which avoids much of the unevenness to which such books are prone. Well over half the text has been newly written or extensively revised. It is such a remarkable and valuable book because it is good for both brief and extensive background reading as well as for reference. The index is splendid and each of the 77 chapters cites many important papers and reviews (with their full titles), even including a few published this year. Every prescriber should have access to it.
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