A strong, lively attack on professional addiction services (and a hurrah for Alcoholics Anonymous), this no-nonsense survey places the responsibility for recovery directly where it belongs: on the addict himself. Burns, himself off the juice for 28 years, and his trio of younger fellow exboozers, pooh-pooh the materialistic approach sponsored by the medical and psychotherapeutic communities and so heavily endowed by Congress. The addict, this book makes clear, is sick in a place no pill or ministerial pep-talk can reach. The Answer is spiritual (whatever that means) conversion; a cleansing of alcoholic attitudes and habits; and helping others. There are some eight million active alcoholics today in the States, with about 400,000 effectively recovering A.A.'s (650,000 worldwide). According to Burns' persuasive reading of the statistics, A.A. emerges as the single mode of recovery that really works, but he faults this fellowship for not opening its doors more warmly to all drug addicts. What the recoverer needs most is sustained emotional stamina in staying sober, and the recognition that the possibility of getting well alone (by pill or willpower) is next to zero. An important deflation of several recovery fallacies.