Beginning with the affirmation that alcoholism, the disease, is one of the most complex and pressing of all contemporary socio-medical problems, this book presents a very thorough explanation of what alcoholism is, its symptoms and effects, who can be classified as an alcoholic and what, to a limited extent, can be done about it. The author leans heavily toward the A.A. view that alcoholism is ""a constitutional disease allied to a personality disorder"" and he proceeds to describe the various forms of the disease as manifested in disturbed personalities. He discusses the special problems of the female alcoholic, the legal and medical aspects of alcohol, associated disorders and illnesses and the physical and psychological treatment. He presents an extensive chart of various stages of drinking habits and he describes the differences between the moderate or social drinker and the excessive drinker. He divides the second category into the heavy or regular drinker (who may never become an alcoholic) and the chronic alcoholic -- the true addict or compulsive drinker. Finally, he demonstrates in several ways, among them, How To Approach an Alcoholic, that it is absolutely impossible to change an alcoholic into a moderate drinker again. There are final chapters on the organization of Alcoholics Anonymous and The Spiritual Approach to alcoholism. A better title, but not a better book than Ullman's To Know The Difference (St. Martin's Press, P. 349).