Synopses & Reviews
Amidst the innumerable articles and books on plastic and reconstructive surgery, a thorough and extensive study of the history of free skin grafting was still missing. This omission has now been rectified by Dr. Klasen. This book is an expansion of a M.D. thesis, written at the State Universi- ty of Groningen, The Netherlands, and was guided by Professor A. J. C. Huffstadt, plastic surgeon, and Professor D. de Moulin, medical historian. Professor T. Gibson kindly revised the manuscript and wrote the epilogue. But, as Goethe put it: "nur ein Teil der Kunst kann gelehrt werden, der Kunstler macht das Ganze" ("only a part of the art can be taught, the artist makes the totality"). The author, Henk Klasen, is a remarkable man. As a general surgeon, he devotes all his interest and skills to traumatology and problems of phys- iology and pathophysiology in surgery. With such talents it is natural that he also works parttime as one of the coordinators ofa modern burn unit. Among his hobbies are love of antiques and old books. This historical inclination has induced him to write the present book, in which he vividly describes the development of free skin grafting in its rel- evant theoretical and practical aspects. His elaborate study has resulted in an excellent reference book which at the same time provides enjoyable reading, once again demonstrating the value of history in understanding the present. A. J. C. HUFFSTADT, M.D.