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July 5, 1985

The Courage to Change

Author Affiliations

Editor, The Journal

JAMA. 1985;254(1):122-123. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360010132044

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Open almost any door in America, and you will find a family scarred by alcohol. This book is for each and every one of those families. In fact, I do not know a person (physician or otherwise) who would not benefit from reading this book. Dennis Wholey, no longer an anonymous alcoholic, has written a wonderful book for the general public about alcohol. Wholey, a well-known radio and television talk-show host, has done what he does best—capture people's experiences and feelings through candid interviews.

Thirty-one named individuals are joined by 19 anonymous alcoholics in describing their experiences. Most are self-acknowledged alcoholics. Many are celebrities. Some are well known for their alcoholism; others were a surprise to me. All have confronted their problem and are said to be in various stages of "recovery." I found the extent of personal detail offered for many to be rather disarming.

Successive chapters deal with