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Book review
Textbooks of Paediatrics
  1. Robert L Boon
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robert Boon, Department of General Paediatrics, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL; Robert.Boon{at}

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Forfar and Arneil's Textbook of Pediatrics. Edited by Neil McIntosh, Peter J Helms, Rosalind L Smyth, Stuart Logan. . Published by Churchill Livingstone, New York, 2007. pp 3200, £166 (hardcover) ISBN: 0443103968; Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, Edited by Robert M Kliegman, Richard E Behrman, Hal B Jenson, Bonita M D Stanton. Published by Saunders, Philadelphia, 2008, pp 1808, £106 (hardcover). ISBN: 1416024506

You like tomato/I like toma(h)to/You like Nelson/I like Forfar—Lets call the whole thing off—was my initial reaction when faced with the task of reviewing these two mighty tomes.

Forfar and Arneil's and Nelson's are the two definitive general paediatric text books. The former is now in its 7th edition while the latter its 18th. They have a stellar array of predominantly UK- and US-based paediatric contributors, respectively.

These two textbooks are very much creatures of their countries of origin. This is most pronounced in the opening chapters which provide an overview of paediatrics. Large proportions of this information will be irrelevant if you're not practising in the UK or the USA. Although it was still a shock to discover, that in the 21st century over 15% of children in the USA do not have health insurance which might help to explain the …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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