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September 19, 1986

Alcohol: Use and Abuse in America

JAMA. 1986;256(11):1500. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380110106038

Occasionally, a book comes along that says almost everything that needs to be said concerning some aspect of the alcohol problem in America. This is the first book I have seen that explicates all aspects in an authoritative and interesting way. Jack Mendelson and Nancy Mello have contributed enormously to the scientific literature over the last two decades. Now, they have broadened their sights to address the leading social problems inherent in alcohol use in our country. The book also includes a concise update of current knowledge in the biologic and behavioral areas.

The book is divided into three major sections. The first section is entitled "Alcohol Use in Perspective." It describes use and abuse of alcohol from the earliest civilizations through colonial times and the Western frontier up to our current situation. Insightful for today is the depiction of the role alcohol played in the Old West, with respect