At the other end of the editorial and literary spectrum lie two books sponsored by an international group of general thoracic surgeons who because of clinical interest differentiate themselves both from general surgeons, who primarily operate on the abdomen, and their thoracic surgical colleagues, who specialize in cardiac operations. The wisdom of such divisiveness among specialties may be questioned, but there can be no argument that this prestigious international group has produced two superb reviews concerning the esophagus.
Seventy-nine authors from 13 countries have written 26 chapters and almost an equal number of formal commentaries on problems of benign esophageal disease. On the face of it, this could have been a linguistic and editorial nightmare, but it is not. Thanks to excellent editorial and publishing supervision, what has emerged is a scholarly, fact-filled, well-documented current overview of a controversial clinical subject. Protagonists for competing methods of diagnosis and treatment present