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Publisher's Summary

In October 1994, William Cope Moyers was flat on his back on the floor of an Atlanta crack house. His father, veteran journalist Bill Moyers, had put together a search party while his desperate family waited at home, where he had abandoned them three days earlier. Many times before, his life had unraveled from the effects of marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol binges, but it was his crack addiction and relapse, he remembers, that caused his father to look into the eyes of his firstborn son and utter the words "I hate you."

Today, William Cope Moyers has been sober for 12 years. He is the vice president of external affairs at the Hazelden Foundation in Minnesota, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people recover from alcoholism and other drug addiction. He uses his own experiences to carry the message about addiction and recovery into the public arena, and he reaches out to addicted people and their families who need help.

In Broken, Moyers tells the story of a love affair with alcohol and crack cocaine that led him to the brink of death over and over again. A harrowing account, it paints a picture of a young man with every advantage who found himself spiraling into a dark abyss. Battling shame and self-doubt at every turn, the author finally emerges into the clear light of recovery as he dedicates his life to changing the politics of addiction. He urges others like himself to speak out and battle against the stigma that keeps many addicts from seeking recovery. Moyers' story is a missive of hope for millions of Americans struggling with addiction, and an honest and inspiring account that is both wrenching and ultimately redemptive.

©2006 William Cope Moyers and Katherine Ketcham (P)2006 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., and Books on Tape. All rights reserved

Critic Reviews

"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)   

What listeners say about Broken

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Don't waste your time

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This book was just too repetitive for me, along with the fact that the author thinks he is so much better than anyone under his level of lifestyle. The narrator had the same condescending sound/manner, which made for it horrible to try and listen. IMO it was a waste of my money and time. If he had told the story in a less snobbish way and had a different narrator, I probably would have enjoyed listening.

4 people found this helpful

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Average story with a lot of introspection

Would you try another book from William Cope Moyers and Katherine Ketcham and/or Scott Brick?

Probably not

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I bought this book because I enjoy hearing the addict's story - the people he met, the crazy situations he found himself in, the mistakes he made, etc... There is a story in this book, but there is also a lot (at least 60% of the book) of introspection and addiction theory. If one is a recovering/current addict, this is a good book to listen to - a lot of AA/addiction theory.

Which scene was your favorite?

As I mentioned above, I enjoyed listening to the author's life story.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Maybe

Any additional comments?

If you are looking for a good addiction story, Tweak by Nic Sheff is probably a better choice. If you buy this book, be prepared for the fact that the author has a message to get across - understanding why people (particularly the author himself) become addicted to drugs and alcohol.

4 people found this helpful

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Just like being there.

Would you listen to Broken again? Why?

I wouldn't. But that's just me. This is an exceptional book, however, there seems to be many more that I haven't read. Its a "time and Newness thing" for me.

What other book might you compare Broken to and why?

Crash and Burn. The story of how it was, what happened and what its like now from high profile (actors, in the news celebrities) Which I have found out the only difference between them and me is money. Take away the money and we addicts are all the same on the inside, where we are sick.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No

Any additional comments?

Very sincere addict.

3 people found this helpful

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Raw, honest & inspiring!

Most recovery stories don't share how the promises don't always happen quickly, or how long the journey really is, nor discuss the shame surrounding our disease. Deeply thought provoking. Thank you Willuam.

2 people found this helpful

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Eloquence and courage

I can think of no more important work for our society. Whether it’s addiction or any other form of mental illness, stigma, abuse, etc., the only way to light is by exposing the darkness

2 people found this helpful

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Hope for the addict

I came across this book trying to understand the mind of the addict because my loved is an addict. This book really help me to understand the addict and to surrender and let the addict found the strength with hands off. Really an excellent for any addicted person but mainly dealing with crack cocaine with self or family member and a great book for effective war on drugs in America

2 people found this helpful

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AGONIZING arrogance, entitlement, self promotion

THE worst, the absolute worst book about addiction and recovery that I've ever experienced.

Cope's recounting of his life tells the story of a spoiled child who grew to be a spoiled brat. This entitled, self promoting, arrogant man drones on and onnnnnnnnnnnnn about how famous his dad is (poor baby!), how he always has money, how he constantly extends his stays in expensive rehabs, his nice clothes, his WONDERFUL life.

NOBODY around him is as wealthy, notorious, attractive, or as intelligent as he.

And then, when it gets almost so nauseating that it's intolerable....he shares that God spoke directly TO HIM.

If you want to feel inadequate, unimportant, poor, and betrayed by the Almighty Sky Dad, who speaks directly into the ear of an ass like this person, this is your book.

IF you are a recovering addict or alcoholic, I DO NOT RECOMMEND. This book will hurt you.

4 people found this helpful

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New perspective

This was assigned to me to read for my addictions class, so beginning it was hard, but I'm so glad I finished it. I see, feel, and understand so much more; definitely worth the read/listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Powerful

As a person in recovery i found this powerful, infuriating, frustrating, sad, inspiring, and very relatable to my own experience and struggles.

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Not a very relatable story of recovery and, not so much, addiction

I liked the part of the book where Moyers talked about the few things I also experienced during my addiction, the trap houses and the people there. However, none of them seem to have been at all humbling. I expected to come away with a feeling that our similarities outweigh our differences in recovery, but I felt quite the opposite. At least I didn’t have this kind of arrogance to overcome, to get off drugs and lead a more or less healthy life. AA/NA wasn’t that big a help, either. I have enjoyed several recovery stories that focus on these groups, showing me sometimes people have a better experience. I was reminded that such extreme attitudes of entitlement are what AA was made with the assumption of, which does help me understand their popularity. I don’t know what it takes to teach someone like this man humility. Other than that, I didn’t get much out of this book. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who’s had to live the street life Moyers still seems to feel so high above. In case he is still wondering if, “There’s no one on the streets like me,” I will answer that question. There is no one on the streets like him because he was never on the streets. As far as privileged addicted men who can buy their buy their safety and impunity on the streets, they are a dime a dozen. This guy may be the one person on earth who needs to watch, “White Crack Bastard,” so he can stop feeding special. Otherwise, please don’t, unless you like stereotypes of psychotic black women and animal cruelty. An absolute horror of a recovery book.