This book is so compact that it deserves the name "Multum in Parvo." The reader is kept on the growing fringe of medicine from the first to the last page. History is not neglected. It does not minimize the germ theory but adds to it. It deals with conditions other than germs that may cause disease and the influence of these conditions on health and happiness.
Because the germ theory is so satisfactory in explaining many diseases, it prevented for a time the discovery of the causes of some diseases, such as beriberi and scurvy, which are due not to the presence of something, but to the lack of something.
The book is divided into four parts: I. Deprivation and Stress; II. Nutritional Deprivation and Stress; III. Psychological Depression and Stress; IV. Social Deprivation and Stress. The importance and far-reaching effects of these are presented in a convincing manner