Dr. Poikolainen has written a lively, provocative, scientifically sound, very readable book. He pulls no punches when describing the “politics” of reports about alcohol research and the use of the research for public health purposes. The resulting controversy will probably be intense and instructive. The book will be of interest the research community and the general public.

– Dr. Arthur L. Klatsky, MD is a Senior Consultant in Cardiology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, Oakland CA, USA who has studied extensively alcohol-related diseases.


Research in complex systems, like societies, is to a large degree non-experimental and thus highly dependent on assumptions and rational considerations. Kari Poikolainen scrutinizes and reanalyzes popular interpretations of alcohol-related research evidence and points out that the implicit intention of most interpretations is inducing an unbalanced anti-alcohol attitude. The critical reanalyses of the empirical findings of Kari Poikolainen seeks to find a balanced and comprehensive understanding of the role that alcohol actually plays in society and our lives.

– Dr. Alfred Uhl is the head of Addiction Research and Documentation at the Anton-Proksch-Institute (API) and lecturer of research methodology at the Sigmund Freud University, Vienna, Austria.


This book makes a very bold statement. It argues that the public health agenda around alcohol and alcohol problems reliably confuses moral judgment, political correctness and science in more or less equal quantities. In doing so, it stands out from the literature like a defiant banner in a castle under siege. Kari Poikolainen takes on alcohol science, points out the myths and sleight of hand that too often populate the area, and gives a passionate account of the real dangers of drinking alongside a critical examination of the biased science and tactics adduced by the ‘anti-alcohol’ lobby. You may not agree with it; but you need to read it.

– Professor emeritus John B. Davies, Centre for Applied Social Psychology, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, is the Founding Editor of the journal Addiction Research and Theory, chairperson of the Scottish Government Drug Prevention and Education Working Group and member of the Scottish Government Drug Strategy Commission.