Alvin Silverstein Herbert W. Wallace - Essay

Herbert W. Wallace

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The Silversteins give a panoramic view of the major problems in heart disease and present methods of treatment [in Heart Disease]. Initially, the anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system are briefly reviewed, followed by a rather incomplete section on congenital and acquired heart disease. The signs and symptomatology of a heart attack are documented, and the account of the present feelings about the effects of diet and exercise on heart disease is well written…. In the chapter on frontiers of heart research, the authors list echocardiography, vectorcardiography and electronic pacemakers, all established techniques which, although they may continue to advance, do not represent the frontiers of heart research. There are several instances in which the reader may become misinformed. For instance, the authors give the impression that the arteries of the body intrinsically contract rhythmically as does the heart and this is entirely false. In the discussion about open heart surgery, the reason for stopping the circulation is to not influence the associated blood trauma. The authors state that overeating sugars for many years can result in the development of diabetes, but there is no clear-cut scientific evidence to support this statement. The impression given that external pressure as circulatory assist is a well-accepted, widely utilized technique is incorrect. The discussion on pacemakers is concise and accurate, but no mention is made of utilization of the transvenous route and in fact only epicardial leads are depicted. Yet despite minor imperfections, this book is of overall good quality, easily readable, and would be of interest to most junior and senior high school students as well as to a good segment of the general population. Its major drawback is that none of the references are cited, which limits the book's classroom use.

Herbert W. Wallace, "Book Reviews: 'Heart Disease'," in Science Books & Films (copyright 1977 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science), Vol. XIII, No. 2 (September, 1977), p. 86.