Here is a book that belongs on the desk of every biomedical researcher in the United States: Building a Healthy America Conquering Disease and Disability Facts, Figures and Funding, edited by Terry L. Lierman. Lierman is president of Capitol Associates, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based government relations firm specializing in health-related issues and funding. The volume, published last November, is the successor to a series of handbooks initiated by Mary Lasker, all entitled Killers and Cripplers, which were issued from 1968 to 1976.

Like its predecessors, Building a Healthy America aims to equip the public with current statistics and plain facts about many of the major diseases and disabilities we face in this nation, such as AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, coronary heart disease, diabetes. stroke and 20 others.

Lierman gives a brief description of each, as well as up-to-date figures on the number of people afflicted, the costs in terms of...

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