Gary's Bio

SECOND CHANCES: Top Executives Share Their Stories of Addiction and Recovery (McGraw-Hill)

Alcohol and drug addiction is all too common in the high-stress world of business. This powerful collection features 17 inspirational interviews with some of the world’s most successful people in recovery — including former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Michael Deaver, former president of CBS Records Walter Yetnikoff, celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern, and president of the Johnson Institute Johnny Allem.

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THE HARDER THEY FALL: Celebrities Tell Their Real-Life Stories of Addiction and Recovery (Hazelden Publishing)

The book centers on lengthy interviews with celebrities who have hit rock bottom as a result of their addiction and risen to achieve success while in recovery. Most, but not all, of the celebrities in the book reached peak stardom during the drug-induced sixties and seventies and are currently living lives of extraordinary accomplishment despite their battles with addiction. Unlike many celebrities of those two decades who crashed and burned, most of the people interviewed here are now at the crest of their lives and are winning.

The generational focus provides a cultural history as well. The interviews and their introductions give readers a basic understanding of addiction, its process and it’s consequences. They also inspire, as the celebrities humbly reveal how human and vulnerable they are by disclosing information about the depths of their despair and the joys of their recovery.

In THE HARDER THEY FALLGary Stromberg interviewed twenty-three celebrities in music, film, sports, politics and literature; people who crashed and burned from drug and alcohol addiction, only to rise to great achievement in sobriety. Stars like comedian Richard Pryor, US Congressman Jim Ramstad, rodeo cowboy Destry Forgette, renowned authors Pete Hamill and Anne Lamott, legendary rock musicians Alice Cooper and Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane fame, tv talk show host Glenn Beck, former heavyweight boxer Gerry Cooney, New Orleans music great Dr. John, comic Richard Lewis, baseball legend Dock Ellis, Pulitzer Prize winning poet Franz Wright, Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day and singer/songwriter Paul Williams, are just some of the stars that shared their intimate stories with him.

Fascinating stories abound in this wonderful collective memoir. Did you know, for instance, that rocker Grace Slick once tried to give former President Richard Nixon LSD while attending a formal tea at the White House? Or that baseball legend Dock Ellis once pitched a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates while under the influence of acid. Funny stories, indeed, but he also shares that Chuck Negron, lead singer in Three Dog Night, arguably the most popular recording group of the early seventies, lost everything because of his drug addiction and ended up living in a cardboard refrigerator box on LA’s Skid Row. These are just a sampling of some of compelling stories of addiction and recovery in THE HARDER THEY FALL.

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FEEDING THE FAME: Celebrities Tell Their Real-Life Stories of Eating Disorders and Recovery (Hazelden Publishing)

This book is a collection of inspiring interviews with renowned writers, models, actors, athletes, and other celebrities who have overcome eating disorders and who courageously share their personal struggles and triumphs.

The headlines are filled with the names of people in the limelight who are beginning to speak openly about their tragic relationship with food and dieting in hopes of helping others afflicted with eating disorders.

Actors, models, and athletes are particularly hard hit with this disease, primarily because a stunning appearance or performance is part of the job description.

FEEDING THE FAME captures the stories of 17 celebrities who have suffered life threatening eating disorders. These original personal accounts reveal the most intimate fears and disappointments, as well as the unconventional, fascinating, and effective paths back to a normal healthy body image and eating patterns.

Did you know that Hall of Fame jockey Shane Sellers forced himself to puke at least eight times a day while trying to make weight at the racetrack? Or that Mike Huckabee, the governor of Arkansas, a tubby turned marathon runner, can now say no to even his favorite Southern-fried foods? Or that psychic Uri Geller once attended a dinner party with the Beatles where he consumed a dozen desserts; before heading out to his limo where he vomited into a paper bag till he was senseless?

Beyond the rumored accounts of dangerous disordered eating among celebrities are also the wonderful stories of recovery… Top Playboy models the Barbi Twins locked themselves into a third-floor apartment to fast in a desperate effort to lose weight, but after a few days knotted together sheets and lowered themselves to the street in a wild search for junk food. Now they are in recovery.

Metropolitan Opera star Andrea Gruber is svelte and sober after decades of disordered eating and substance abuse, because she didn’t want a huge sick body anymore after her experiences at a New York firehouse during 9/11. J.D. Salinger, the literary lion clothed in mystery, not only went on a weird fad diet but screwed up the eating habits of his teenage girlfriend by bullying her to join him. Today Joyce Maynard is a healthy mother of three and renowned author/journalist.

These are just a few of the compelling stories that Gary Stromberg reveals in his riveting new book FEEDING THE FAME: Celebrities Tell Their Real-Life Stories of Eating Disorders and Recovery (Hazelden Publishing)

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