Summary: BOOK REVIEW
Microbiology, Microbial Diversity, and Microbial Life
The term microbiology is a combination of two words, micro-
scopic and biology. In its modern usage, it has come to mean
much less than the biology of microscopic organisms (micro-
organisms), which at one point included micro-invertebrates.
Today the term ``microbiology'' is often used instead of ``bacte-
riology'' to the exclusion of protistology and mycology. The bias
begins in introductory textbooks, which tend to deal primarily or
exclusively with bacteriology. Here seven popular or new micro-
biology textbooks are compared to determine the topics that tend
to be covered, those that tend to be omitted, and the consequences
of this presentation of ``microbiology'' to undergraduate students
are discussed. The books reviewed are as follows: 1. Batzing,
B. L. 2001. Microbiology, An Introduction. Brooks/Cole Publish-
er, Stamford CT, London, Singapore, Toronto. 780 p. Price: US
$131. 2. Cowan, M. K. and Talaro, K. P. 2006. Microbiology, A
Systems Approach. McGraw Hill, Boston, London, Mexico City,
Montreal, Singapore. 806 p. Price: US $135. 3. Ingraham, J. L.
and Ingraham, C. A. 2000. Introduction to Microbiology. 2nd ed.