Eric Newhouse, winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for the newspaper columns reprinted in this book, is a veteran newspaper reporter. As such, he’s seen what he refers to as the flotsam and jetsam of human life: the divorces, lost jobs, battered wives and children, crime, drunken drivers, car wrecks, and medical bills. And, he’s come to the conclusion that alcohol is behind much of it. Take away the alcohol, in other words, and much of the human tragedy that he chronicles would go away. This book, Alcohol: Cradle to Grave, offers a compelling, day-in-the-life look at how the disease of alcoholism affects Great Falls, Montana, in particular and the state of Montana in general. It’s also what he terms “a microcosm of a national problem.” Here, Newhouse offers us a compelling and comprehensive understanding of the complexity, magnitude, and cost of alcohol abuse. It’s an unflinching look at the largely unnoticed river of booze that flows through our towns, our communities and our daily lives.
With dramatic anecdotes and data, [Newhouse] offers a penetrating rebuke to insane public policies focused on shoveling up the wreckage of alcohol abuse rather than on preventing and treating it.
Joseph A. Califano Jr.
Chairman and President, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University
I feel enlightened after devouring this powerful book.
George McGovern, Former US Senator