In the past half decade we have seen appear a most gratifying plentitude of symposia, monographs, and studies on the no-longer-private life of the fetus, once one of the more secretive and successful of nature's hermits. The products range from elaborate studies of the fetoplacental unit to great quarto-atlases of placental anatomy, and are variably successful, innovative, or tours-de-force. It seems possible that appropriate attention may at last be paid to the beginning of life. This symposium, less short-lived than many collections of contributions to meetings, is now about two years old. As in all ephemerata, some of the general chapters are useless but others bring to the practitioner secrets usually locked up in journals of fertility, reproductive biology, obstetrics, and experimental zoology.
A few publishing errors are noted without seriously detracting from the value of the volume, eg, clearly identified and illustrated normal (Type I) and abnormal (Type II)