Dr. Apgar, who originated the universally used Apgar test for screening the newborn, served at Columbia-Presbyterian for 30 years and now directs the medical program on birth defects for the March of Dimes, has written an excellent, explanatory book on the seven percent (perhaps higher) who suffer some sort of malformation, retardation or dysfunction at birth. Preliminary chapters describe the new life cycle from the cell up with the possibilities of one abnormal gene or a larger chromosome error for most of the congenital difficulties to follow although also to be considered is the harmful influence of radiation or drugs or infections. Chapter by chapter, often with line illustrations, there follows a description of birthmarks, cerebral palsy, mongolism (the single most common cause of retardation), cleft defects and clubfeet (again the most common malformations), cystic fibrosis, diabetes, hemophilia and sickle cell anemia, along with some of the more esoteric conditions, one still without a name. In each case, treatment and cure where existing, preventative measures, and the causal knowns (and in many cases unknowns) are outlined, all within reach of the general reader. Specific, exhaustive and realistic.