April 17, 1972

Biological Basis of Alcoholism

Author Affiliations

Washington University St. Louis


edited by Yedy Israel and Jorge Mardones, 453 pp, with illus, $19.95, New York: Wiley-Interscience, 1971.

JAMA. 1972;220(3):421-422. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200030079038

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Without any trouble at all, you could have spent $116.45 on books about alcohol last year, roughly the amount required to buy 30 bottles of bourbon, Missouri prices. It is a sobering thought. Here are the books, in order of appearance: Actions of Alcohol, Volumes I and II, by H. Wallgren and H. Barry, Amsterdam, Elsevier Publishing Company, 1970, $64; The Biology of Alcoholism, Vol 1: Biochemistry, edited by B. Kissin and H. Begleiter, New York, Plenum Press, 1971, $32.50; and the present one.

These are the good books. There were also pretty good books and some bad ones, but the above are books too good, almost, not to buy. Each is scholarly, thorough, superbly documented. Each says pretty much what the others say, and it would be hard to recommend one over the others. Why try? For "boozologists" it has been a vintage year.

The books deal more with