This is a book that has been needed -- and it is a pleasure to report that on every count, the result justifies the hope that such a ""primer"" could be done. Here is no ABC cure; in fact, the whole is based on the acceptance that there is no ""cure"" for actual and properly diagnosed alcoholism, if by cure is meant that an alcoholic can become a normal drinker. BUT- and this is infinitely more important, this book is a ray of light on a topic too often sidetracked from ignorance or embarrassment or misunderstanding; it is a chart of procedure for relatives and friends -- and for alcoholics themselves, which should lead (A) to proper identification of the Alcoholic as distinguished from the heavy drinker, the situational drinker, the psychiatric drinker; (B) to what should be and can be done about it to make an Alcoholic into a person who can lead a normal happy life in today's society. The greater part of the book deals specifically with the symptoms, the steps, the stages by which an Alcoholic is identifiable, to himself or to others. Important chapters deal with the Don'ts for the family and friends. A layman's presentation of the various approaches, professional and layman, to Alcoholics, with comment on the degree of their proven value, the hope in their direction, and the value in combination with such projects of group therapy as Alcoholics Anonymous, and such centers of information as the National Committee on Alcoholism is striving to extend to all parts of the country. Alcoholics Anonymous, and the extraordinarily effective work accomplished over a period of fifteen years, is perhaps given emphasis that those who do not know its work may feel disproportionate, but in the aggregate, the numbers literally saved by A.A. more than justify the focus placed upon it. A book that everyone concerned in the subject as an immediate problem would do well to read and ponder.