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The Human Skeleton

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  • Book Review
  • Biology
  • Education
  • Medicine


652 BOOK REVIEWS "current treatment" provides 26 references, of which only two were published in 1983, and the others, earlier still. Overall, this is a succinctly written, well-organized treatise of relevance to clinicians interested in the diagnosis, pathophysiology, and treatment of coronary artery spasm. It could inspire an interest in the subject by students at all levels, as well as serving as an adequate reference source. It is difficult, however, to give an unqualified endorse- ment to a text already out of date at publication. SUBBA RAO GOLLAMUDI Medical Student Yale University School ofMedicine THE HUMAN SKELETON. By Pat Shipman, Alan Walker, and David Bichell. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1986. 343 pp. $26.50. While any beginning textbook covering the human skeleton must be largely descriptive, engaging the reader in memorization, it need not be that alone. Certainly, the interrelationships of the structures of the human skeletal system and the general functions of its parts should receive repeated mention and emphasis. In addition, excursions into age, sexual, and racial differences can add interest because they give meaning to the interpretation of bone. Studying skeletal materials in particular enables the student to obtain a wealth of biological information and to trace patterns of disease and nutrition. A functional rather than a regional approach to the human skeletal system is used in this book. It involves the reader in fewer difficulties and is more appropriate for people studying physical and health education. Each function is discussed in sufficient depth to provide a good basis concerning the nature of bone, the function of bone, and interpretation of this relationship. No effort is made to emphasize anatomical detail. The first part, "The Nature of Bone," contains six chapters. This portion sets the tone of the book, defines basic concepts, and presents information about bone growth, joints, and lubrication. Part Two considers the basic function of bon

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