For the past decade and more, American psychiatry has been at sea on the adventurous if uncontrolled odyssey of community psychiatry. The voyage has often coursed through uncharted oceans, and for many the purpose and destination of the journey have been obscure. Even among those whose sights are clearer, there is growing concern that the ship will be becalmed by inadequate funding or run aground on the shoals of bureaucratic anarchy. For all of these voyagers this volume should come as a welcome compass. The authors' review of their subject is encyclopedic. They have not only traced the origins of modem concepts and studies back to their historical roots, but have drawn their material widely from the work of investigators throughout the world to illustrate current trends and prob- lems. The novice will find their discussion of epidemiology a clearly- written and useful introduction to one of the scientific foundations of social psychiatry, and novice and expert alike can profit from their thoughtful and critical assessment of basic terms and concepts, including illuminating chapters on stress, genetics, psychophysiologic disorders, and cultural psychiatry. The volume ends on a personal note as the authors present their views of the current state of social psychiatry and suggest ways in which its theoretical structure might be strengthened. Too often the plight of the individual is overlooked in the concern with impersonal numbers and surveys that preoccupy epidemiologists and social scientists.