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Drinking in French Culture.

Harry J. Hess, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1966;118(3):297. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.00290150111038.
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This is the fifth in a series of monographs of the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies. Having been preceded by, among the others, Alcohol and the Jews and Alcohol in Italian Culture, this book presents an exhaustive survey and statistical study of the drinking habits of the French.

Through interviews completed about nine years ago and conducted by the French Institute of Public Opinion, a generous sample, validly representing the adult population of France, was studied. What emerges is an astonishing array of facts dispelling some myths—"The French have no alcoholism because they drink wine"—some romantic notions—"Wine is the most hygienic of all beverages" and "[The wine and the vine] are also something constituting the grandeur of our tradition." The reader is conducted through well known grounds with new knowledge.

This reviewer will readily admit his lack of appreciation for the dry and terse world of numbers: statistical tables have


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