Review by Choice Review
With the support of a Canadian grant, Pernanen, a Swedish social scientist, studied the relation between alcohol use and violent acts in Thunder Bay, a Canadian city of about 112,000. Interviews with residents and the examination of police records resulted in a number of findings, which are reported in this book. For example, about 40% of the respondents had witnessed violent acts or had been the victims of threats or violence. In slightly over half of the incidents the assailant had been drinking; in about one third of the incidents the victim had been drinking. In 42% of reported violent crimes, alcohol had been involved. Pernanen argues that in views about drinking and violence there is a tension between two "frameworks," viz., violent behavior caused by drinking is either a natural physiological response or it is a willful act on the part of the drinking individual. He attempts, but unsuccessfully, to interpret his findings in the light of these and other frameworks. Unfortunately, the book is not very well written; there are a number of confusing passages.-D. Harper, University of Rochester
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.