Though not a scientist himself, Mr. Cabot is an astute writer on research and medicine and has made an absorbing layman's study of the disease that attacks some three quarters of million people in this country every year. That in itself guarantees a market for the book, and a plus appeal to readers of popularized science-especially where it concerns personal health- with graphic details- may bring a run on it. But it is a thoughtful book, with more than a sensual appeal. The introductory chapter is a clear statement of the historical study of the heart, today's knowledge of its mechanics and an important technique, catheterizing, for the advance of research. With this as a springboard, discussions of various diseases and their possible causes, progressions and cures come next. These are the arterial blockades, high blood pressure, rheumatic fever, common ""heartfailure"" and the effect of muscle contraction, and finally the advances in heart surgery that have recently received so much publicity. Writing at times almost passionately, the author conveys the drama of events, is perhaps too romantic, but puts much that is worthwhile into his book.