What De Kruif's Microbe Hunters does extremely well in the area of bacteriology, this book does with moderate success in attempting to carry the broader story of paramedical knowledge and research farther into the twentieth century. The range is extensive, weaving all the way from hydrotherapy and fluoroscopy to medical librarianship. If only in this broadening aspect, it is a useful complement to the more classic reference, The style is uneven, being at its worst in the introductory chapter but proceeding from there with more fluency. A number of anecdotes are left frustratingly unfinished. (The uninitiated will be left wondering, for example, what really happened to the young Parisian who in 1667 was transfused with calf's blood to calm him. We suspect the worst but are never told.) This manner of writing is often useful, but comes as a shock in the context of the story-telling mode of this book.