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Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption Paperback – August 28, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 166 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Moyers, the son of prominent author, media figure and LBJ adviser Bill Moyers, recounts his heartbreaking struggle with alcohol and cocaine during the '80s and early '90s. Moyers covered his tracks through bold-faced denial until he spiraled out of control and landed in the first of four rehab stints. Moyers's early chapters, detailing his formative years and progression toward addiction, are somewhat plodding. But once embarking on his treatment journey, Moyers deftly tackles the complexities of sobriety, especially acceptance of those broken situations and relationships that cannot be fixed. Audie Award–winning narrator Brick brings an appropriate blend of pathos and grit to the very formidable task at hand, giving compelling voice to a tale of substance abuse without descending into a maudlin soap opera confessional. Brick proves especially masterful in recreating the delicate nuances of the father-son dialogues, as the elder Moyers struggles to convey both unconditional love toward his troubled grown child and unequivocal nonacceptance for that same young man's destructive patterns of behavior.
Copyright© American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"William Cope Moyers's lucid, measured tale of his own plunge into crack-addled hell [is] frightening in its very realism.
-USA Today

"A memoir of a terrible disease and one man's spiritual journey through it . . . that should be read by those who have friends or family members caught in addiction."
The Indianapolis Star
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143112457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143112457
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alan Braun on October 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Broken is outstanding! I am an alum of Hazelden, sober 22 years, and have worked as an adolescent chemical dependency counselor. This book is the best description of addiction, treatment, relapse and recovery that I have come across. It is well written and well documented from the author's journals and correspondence from his father.

I currently work with five sober high schools in Minnesota for chemically dependent kids in recovery. I have purchased a copy for each of the schools. Last night I was at a parent meeting at one of the schools and recommended it to the parents. I was asked if it was for the parents or the students. It is for both. It could be a wonderful opportunity for students and families to open new avenues of communication and understanding.

The descriptions of the cravings, urges and triggers for relapse are graphic. My only concern is that they might be difficult for a newcomer with fragile sobriety. For all others, this book is a must read. It is particularly valuable for its depiction of spiritual growth and coming to terms with a higher power.

I have never before reviewed a book but the author's call to action made it necessary for me to do so.
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Format: Hardcover
Addiction scares and fascinates me. My family's battle with alcoholism was so traumatic that I never touched booze until I was 36. This dysfunction made me want to understand how addiction strikes and recovery works, especially within a familial context. Indeed, it was a major reason I entered seminary and earned an MA in Family Ministry. After a cursory glance through "Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption," I knew I'd found a memoir on the subject that had meat. Finishing it only confirmed my initial impression. This is one of the most honest, well-written, and informative accounts of addiction and recovery that I've ever read.

William Cope Moyers had everything. A loving family, wealth, talent - you name it. But these advantages paled before his crippling Achilles' heel: himself. Whether it was the pressure to live up to his father's name, some childhood trauma, a nagging sense of insignificance, or a hole inside his soul, William was unable to "cope" with reality. He began using alcohol, moved on to cocaine, and finally forged a twisted love affair with crack. His binges cost him lucrative and prestigious jobs, destroyed his first marriage, and in the end almost killed him. After a number of relapses he finally hit bottom, got sober, and is now working to help other addicts.

At times, reading "Broken" was like watching a slow-motion train wreck. It was heartbreaking to see Mr. Moyers climb out of the gutter, get things "together," and then throw it all away on a crack binge. He left a lot of destruction in his wake, since it took many devastating falls before he forsook pride and dishonesty for sobriety.
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Format: Hardcover
Thank you so much, William, for sharing your story. It takes enormous courage to ascend out of the nightmare of addiction, and further courage to tell that story! You do an immense service to the many millions who struggle with this disease, both as addicts and alcoholics themselves, but also for the many others who love them and want to do the right thing.

It was very interesting to hear something of how Hazelden works. I've been ordering books from them for years, and often wondered what their treatment program is like. You give a fascinating insight into that, as well as into your own mindset as you struggled with the program and recovery.

Thank you for sharing the hope and strength to be had from knowing treatment works and recovery does happen! And that the stigma that often stifles people's efforts to get help is sometimes even worse than the disease itself. You are a tremendous beacon in the darkness here. You have turned your liabilities into assets and married them to the wonderful gift of communication and writing that you already had. We are all beneficiaries.

The honesty and hope that your book offers is so needed in these dark times!

Sincerely,

Shelagh Cosgrove, Columbus, Ohio
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Format: Hardcover
I was amazed once I started reading at how well this book reads. Even more amazed that it wasn't one of those books about someone who went into recovery and never relapsed. The pain of relapse is something Mr Moyer described perfectly. I share in Mr Moyers addiction and now I have been blessed with sharing his recovery. I have ordered from Hazelden for some time now, so when this book came out, it was a must add to my recovery library. Thank you William, for sharing your story in print so that so many struggling addicts can see that there is hope and the miracle is just around the corner. It works if you work it!
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book and could not put it down. Mr Moyers will change the way of thinking for many as this disease has no limitations on the age in which this disease affects someone and all those around them. This book has insight and boundless wisdom for all generations involved. I would recommend all colleges make it madatory reading, and only wish somehow every adult knew it was available.
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