A serious book about a serious health problem. High blood pressure (hypertension) kills 1-1/2 million Americans each year; it may affect as many as 43 million people, most of whom don't even know they have it. In clear, simple English, the authors recount the history of the disease, its measurement, and treatment; who gets it (everybody) and why (nobody knows); how it affects the heart (congestive heart failure, angina, heart attacks), the brain (stroke), and the kidneys. Medical terminology is explained rather than avoided. The message is unmistakable: ""A 35-year-old man [with untreated hypertension] can take up to 17 years off his life expectancy."" Smoking, stress, and obesity increase the risk, and there are practical and pragmatic programs to reduce each of them. The prognosis should be good. ""Drugs alone have been responsible for cutting in half the death rate from stroke."" Various anti-hypertensive drugs are discussed in detail, with an explanation of how they work, but not why (""we are still guessing""). The major stumbling block to seeking treatment is the lack of symptoms: ""It goes against the grain of most people to take medication unless they have a reason."" With medication, the hypertensive person can lead a normal life, and the book includes advice on sex, check-ups, and warning signs (""go immediately to a hospital""), plus tips on setting up a successful screening program. Insistent and thorough.