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September 12, 1942

Alcohol Explored

JAMA. 1942;120(2):163. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830370075029

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This is one of the most stimulating books ever written on the popular subject of alcoholism. The authors have summarized a wealth of material gleaned from a complete review of the literature as well as their own original investigations. They have formulated the present status of alcoholism as well as the many problems needing investigation. Although the authors should be commended for their effort to bring loose ends together, some of their conclusions seem rather dogmatic and forced. For example, their classification of alcoholic persons into normal excessive drinkers, symptomatic drinkers, stupid drinkers and addicts is confusing, as most patients could be placed under several of these headings. The terminology also is rather arbitrary. For example, they refuse to use the words "alcoholism" and "alcoholic," terms which are universally understood by every one familiar with this problem.

The authors' contention that alcoholism is a disease deserves wider recognition by the

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