The first edition, published in 1965, was edited by Max Samter, an allergist and immunologist who early on grasped the value and implications of grouping together seemingly disparate diseases with possibly similar immunologic mechanisms. The format for the sixth edition has not changed much: basic tenets of immunology are followed by disease- and organ-focused chapters covering immunologic aspects (readers are referred elsewhere for comprehensive discussion of a disease). Infectious diseases are covered with discussion of how the immune system deals with microbes (rather than discussion of each disease separately). Editor Austen (Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School), is joined by three other editors -- Michael M. Frank, Duke U. Medical Center; John P. Atkinson, Washington U. School of Medicine; and Harvey Cantor (Harvard Medical School) -- and a long list of contributing authors.