There is nothing quite like the pleasure of ?passing on? the lessons of surgery from one generation to the next. As experienced cardiac surgeons, all of us remember the trainee phase in our specialty when we tried to acquire all of the available Operative Atlases we could find and studying from them to prepare for the next day of teaching in the operating room. However, written chapters and drawings are different as compared to real surgery. To overcome this limitation, we developed together the second edition of this new-concept operative atlas. When our co-editor, the New York Professor of Cardiac Surgery, David H. Adams, first received a copy of the German Cardiac Surgical Operative Atlas edited by Thorsten Wahlers and Thorsten Wittwer, with a request to provide an additional chapter on Tricuspid Valve Repair for this first English edition, he was struck by the simplicity and obvious utility of this book. He considered it not hard to understand why the total first German Edition sold out in a matter of months. In the second International Edition of the Cardiac Surgical Operative Atlas, the beginning surgeon can review very basic techniques and maneuvers such as cannulation strategies and internal mammary harvest. In other chapters, cardiac surgeons of all levels can review complex procedures such as valve sparing or reconstructive operations, captured step by step with high-quality operative photographs. As good as the art work is in a typical Operative Atlas, original pictures from an actual surgical procedure provide the student of surgery with a depth and clarity not possible in a drawn picture. The accompanying concise legends provide the reader with the key points and ?take home messages? to learn from each photograph. We have no doubt there is something in this Atlas for every student of cardiac surgery, from the surgical resident at the beginning of his training over the more experienced surgeon ?on-call? being confronted with a complex case in the middle of the night to the expert surgeon wanting to learn an advanced technique. Operative Atlases have been an essential part of surgical training since the beginning, and this particular edition is designed to be helpful for young cardiac surgeons and is hopefully a valuable addition to anyone´s collection.