R. G. Gordon
BMJ (Clinical Research Edition)
REVIEWS MEDICAL 133 Reviews TEXTBOOK OF PHYSIOLOGY Lehrbuch der Physiologie. By Emil Abderhalden. New and enlarged edition. (Pp. 480; illustrated. 34 francs.) Basle: Benno Schwabe and Co. 1946. This well-produced handbook, with its companion volume Lehrbuch der Physiologischen Chemie, is intended to give without excessive detail an account of the functioning of the various organs of the body and of their relationships to one another in the normal circumstances of life. An English reader may
... the German rather difficult-perhaps because it is too good-and the absence of side headings does not allow easy perusal; but this steam-roller effect is common in books in German. What is recorded is up to date. The transference to another volume of those parts of the subject which have a chemical aspect or interest makes the book appear unbalanced-19 chapters out of 33 being devoted to special-sense physiology and the nervous system, while there are no chapters on heat regulation, diet, reproduction, or the endocrine system. The author mentions the last incidentally in connexion with the systems that he describes more fullynamely, digestion, circulation, respiration, and urinary secretion. We may perhaps concede that biochemistry is the science that fully treats of such subjects as diet and general and intermediary metabolism, but we would not have thought that a general textbook of physiology could omit them altogether. The methods and viewpoints of the chemist and physicist are essential for the solution of the problems of physiology, but these problems and their solutions remain within the framework of general biology. If the transference of much of the subject matter of physiology into the realm of biochemistry is before long to be followed by the removal into the realm of biophysics of all the remaining matter capable of exact and quantitative treatment, then indeed physiology, like the Cheshire Cat, wijl leave behind nothing but a smile. C. LOVATr EVANS. MENTAL CONFLICT Our Inner Conflicts. A Constructive Theory of Neurosis. By Karen Horney, M.D. (Pp. 250. lOs. 6d.) London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co. 1946.