The number of textbooks that are dedicated to emergency medicine has proliferated in recent years in parallel with the number of physicians who are interested in this specialty. Such books range from how-to-do-it manuals on the left to physiologic esoterica on the right. By these standards, this book lies fairly far to the left. It is a pragmatic, comprehensive text filled with decision trees, lists, and tables. Therein lie both its strengths and weaknesses. On the one hand, it covers most areas of emergency medicine and provides one reasonable approach to these problems. However, because of its space restraints it does not provide much in-depth discussion or factual background to suggest alternate approaches to complex issues. A case in point is the ten-line section devoted to hypertensive crisis. Useful drugs are listed alphabetically with little guidance to their indications, selections, or contraindications in the presence of renal failure, encephalopathy, etc.