27th Edition (Published 2018)
Edited by Norman Williams, P.Ronan O’Connell and Andrew McCaskie
Published CRC Press
This book simply smacks of class; I have had the privilege of reviewing the hardback edition which is a robust and physically heavy book. It is heavy to lift and looks an impressive addition to the bookshelf but the word “short” as expressed in the book’s title, it certainly is not. This is a powerful heavyweight textbook that seems to cover most surgical specialties and is suitable for a global audience. Even better, its appeal is widespread throughout various sectors of the medical and surgical community. If you are a practicing physician and just need one surgical textbook as a reference source for your personal or departmental library, this excellent book could fit the bill. It is also very useful for the undergraduate or postgraduate medic no matter where you are in the world. So it is very adaptable to a number of end users.
The book is undeniably British and the beginning of the book lists the many UK based contributors and it is worth reading the first few pages to really understand the history of the book. There is a photograph in the first pages of Bailey and Love whilst the preface gives a clear account of the role of the book. No book can reach a 27th edition (first published in 1932) unless it sets a high standard, keeps to it and continually moves with the times. This book most certainly moves with the times and this 2018 edition is fresh, uptodate and very well written. The text is very readable, beautifully illustrated and there is good use of tables, figures and summary boxes. The breadth of coverage is impressive and I like particularly its broad appeal to a huge number of students and healthcare professionals. A paper-based textbook is not dead in this modern digital era and this book is living proof.
As would be expected from a modern textbook along with the purchase price comes a digital offering. There are two different formats and one is an easy to use web format accessible from any supported browser and is simple and easy to use and navigate the book’s impressive content. In addition, there is an app that can be used in supported mobile devices and it worked well on my iPhone.
There is very little not to like about this impressive, heavyweight yet very modern and highly accessible textbook. Not surprisingly, a purchase of this book does not come cheap (though looking at the website, the paperback version is significantly cheaper) but this is a quality product that deserves to do well. I am sure Mr Bailey and Mr Love would not recognise the book in its current format (I wonder what would they make of the web and app offerings?) but I am sure they would have been proud of its relevance and standing in the modern medical community.
Dr Harry Brown