Directed toward the great majority of people who drink in moderation, who can take it or leave it alone, this book by the author of The Commonsense Book of Wine provides a great deal of information that Adams feels most people would like to know about drinks and drinking in relation to themselves as imbibers, hosts, hostesses, parents and citizens. He discusses the differences between whiskey, bourbon, rye, corn, blend, Canadian, Scotch, Irish, gin, volka, rum, brandies and beer and in the process indicates the main effects of drinking, on the brain, the nervous system, as a narcotic, sedative, relaxer and depressant. He offers advice on cautious drinking; what to look for in buying liquor -- and makes the point that great age does not necessarily improve all whiskey; how to drink and stay thin; the hangover -- which only time, he says, will cure, liquor and children; and when a drinker is in danger of becoming an alcoholic. His conclusions: that drinking has been a normal part of human behavior since prehistoric times; the more diluted beverages are preferable to the stronger ones; the use of alcohol is most temperate when it accompanies family meals; anything that tends to maintain the bootleg traffic helps to support organized crime; and that excessive drinking is rarest in those groups where moderate drinking is part of their cultural pattern. A down to earth, straightforward book which is both helpful and interesting.