A History of Alcoholism

Sournia, J-C and Porter, Roy. 1990. A History of Alcoholism. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. ISBN 978-0631160267 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

(translated from the French by Gareth Stanton and Nick Hindley, with an introduction by Roy Porter)

From Roy Porter's introduction: `Professor Sournia's history of alcoholism is particularly to be welcomed. It constitutes the first full-documented, cross-cultural account, published in English, of one major facet of the history of drinking: the story of alcohol abuse; and it examines that topic with all the skill one has come to expect from a leading French historian of medicine ...' `Professor Sournia's book expertly charts the interweaving of the history of drinking with the history of social reform and the history of medicine, to show the particular way in which the `problem of alcoholism' is a specifically modern formulation, though one showing few signs of resolving itself into a thing of the past.'From Jean Charles Sournia's conclusion, `An Acceptable Poison?': `Alcoholism, like smoking, has been greeted with varying degrees of disapproval. Countries in the West now recognize that prohibition is intolerable and impossible to enforce, but they also know that total licence threatens their very existence. Accordingly, they try to regulate alcohol, to tax and ration it, with varying degrees of provisional success. In this way, countries try to achieve a compromise between acceptable and dangerous levels of consumption. Unconsciously, the bias of ever-changing legislation ensures that a certain degree of tolerance prevails.'.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies



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Date Deposited:

10 Nov 2015 15:38

Last Modified:

13 Jan 2016 13:31



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