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Drunkard: A Hard-Drinking Life

Drunkard: A Hard-Drinking Life
Author: Neil Steinberg
ISBN 13: 9780452295438
ISBN 10: 452295432
Edition: Reprint
Publisher: Plume
Publication Date: 2009-05-26
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
List Price: $15.00

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg loved his job, his wife, and his two young sons. But he also loved to drink. Drunkard is an unflinchingly honest account of one man's descent into alcoholism and his ambivalent struggle to embrace sobriety. Sentenced to an outpatient rehab program, Steinberg discovers that twenty-eight days of therapy cannot reverse the toll taken by decades of hard drinking. As Steinberg claws his way through recovery, grieves the loss of the drink, and tries to shore up his faltering marriage, he is confronted by the greatest test he has ever faced, and finds himself in the process. Steinberg's gripping memoir is a frank and often painfully funny account of the stark-yet-common realities of a disease that affects millions.

Publishers Weekly

Steinberg, a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, admitted he was an alcoholic—only he'd rather be called a "drunkard," a more colorful "slur"—only after a judge sentenced him to rehab. He'd hit his wife in an argument over his drinking; by Steinberg's initial account, before his arrest, he was living the ideal newspaperman's life—a few Jack Daniels at his regular bar after filing his popular column, a few red wines in the bar car of the commuter train to the suburbs, then a cozy evening with his loving wife and two sons. It's only after he's in rehab that he recalls all the other drinks he'd sneak when his wife or his kids weren't looking. He had no choice about going to rehab for 28 days, but couldn't see the use of going to AA meetings. An agnostic iconoclast, the higher-power language and the instant fellowship-of-drunks aspect of AA made him uncomfortable. Through his relapses and his recoveries, Steinberg developed his own relationship with AA and learned how to be a hot newspaperman without a shot glass on his desk. Steinberg's struggle to be honest with himself will touch a nerve with many readers. (June)

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