It is a very rare experience when one picks up a book to know after reading the first few pages that this book is now the standard against which all others in that field will subsequently be judged. Thus Davidson views the field of development, focusing on those events involving gene activity, and comes up with a superb book. Many authors approaching a field as old as development, which has just undergone a renaissance by its perfusion with the concepts of molecular biology, might be tempted to forget the glory of the past for the glitter of the present. Not so Davidson. He has brought his subject into perspective by describing the early work of embryologists of the 1880 era and the flow of ideas which lead to our present concept of gene control of development.
This well-written and detailed book has 102 figures, composed of experimental graphs, photographs, and