A man who defeated his own alcoholism before it beat him, who has served as lay therapist and consultant on alcoholic problems and studies at the Yale School, James Free deals an open hand to people who know alcoholics or fear that they may be alcoholic themselves. He discusses the symptoms and stages of alcoholism, the various means of treatment and places to find help -- whether it be the AA, psychiatrist, priest, jail hospital or curative home. There is stress on the difference between the person who drinks too much and the alcoholic who loses all control of his drinking, with the admonition that 70% of all alcoholics arrive at the point where drink is a disease in itself rather than merely a symptom, through social drinking, 30% through strictly symptomatic drinking (a psychiatrist's statement). There is little attention to the personality structures of alcoholics except as they relate to rationalizing techniques and to the approach of would-be curers. A realistic, firm approach here which emphasizes the disease of status of alcoholism, to be treated as such, this is a helping hand to those it is meant to reach.