In recording the history of the prestigious 78-year-old American Pediatric Society, the authors have exceeded their stated task and have written a valuable and delightful history of American pediatrics. By reviewing the transactions of the Society's meetings, which include thousands of papers in original form or in abstract, and by presenting the most important developments in chronological order, a smooth unfolding of the specialty is provided.
The history is made more valuable by the authors' ability to place facts and opinions as presented at Society meetings in context, both as to past and future. A good editor could have abstracted the transactions, but only assiduous pediatricians who had lived through many of the years covered in the book could have provided such fascinating asides and footnotes. We find that many pediatric heroes had feet of clay as their strongly expressed views are proved to be wrong; at the same time