The 5th edition of Swenson's text is a hybrid constructed from contributions from faculty inside and outside the Children's Memorial Hospital (Chicago, Ill). In some measure, the book reflects the philosophy and practice of the editor, John G. Raffensperger, and many chapters carry his imprimatur.
Too much of the first section is devoted to generic, obligatory, and somewhat superficial considerations of topics relevant to pediatric surgery. There are notable exceptions. Wherever experts are enlisted, the book is succinct and informative. Dr Nadler's discussion of genetics, the chapters on respiratory distress, and the pharmacologic management of shock provide contemporary insights. There are distracting inconsistencies in style. The scholarly exposition correlating embryogenesis and clinical disease is in stark contrast to the purely descriptive chapter on head and neck immediately preceding it and the following anecdotal consideration of foreign bodies in the gastrointestinal tract. The fundamental pediatric surgical subjects, including gastrointestinal and oncology,