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Article
August 16, 1995

Drinking Careers: A Twenty-Five-Year Study of Three Navajo Populations

Author Affiliations

New York University New York, NY

 

by Stephen J. Kunitz and Jerrold E. Levy, with Tracy Andrews, Chena DuPuy, K. Ruben Gabriel, and Scott Russell, 280 pp, with illus, $28.50, ISBN 0-300-06000-9, New Haven, Conn, Yale University Press, 1994.

JAMA. 1995;274(7):588. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530070086043

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Abstract

This book describes the evolution of drinking practices in the Southwest Navajo Indian population. It does this with thoroughness and great acuity. Appreciation is due the authors for their diligence in carrying out the initial research in the mid 1960s and following it up 25 years later. The effort illustrates the value of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) supporting studies on the diverse aspects of alcoholism—a disease whose etiology and impact lie at the interface of culture, psychology, and biology.

On reading this book, one cannot help but reflect on some other interfaces. Its action, science, and drama take place in a locale in rural northern Arizona, one where many Americans have traveled without appreciating the vibrant Navajo society that surrounds them. We know some of the romance and mystery associated with the Indians of the Southwest. We may see its protagonists inhabiting roadside stops and

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