Home » Archive

Articles tagged with: Alcoholism

Columns »

[14 May 2011 | 3 Comments | 3,802 views ]

THE celebration of the birthday of Alcoholics Anonymous is a cause for joy and sometimes sad reflection.
Of the millions of lives saved and transformed by this extraordinary organisation, just as many have failed to grasp its simple message and the result has been personal hell and untimely death. Such is the destructive power of alcohol, society’s most pernicious drug.
On May 12, 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous had its fragile beginning in the US city of Akron, Ohio, when a recently sober New York stockbroker, Bill Wilson, fearful that being alone on a …

Columns »

[15 Feb 2011 | No Comment | 1,946 views ]

If Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore is successful in her attempts to change late-night drinking patterns and the trouble that goes with it, she will earn a significant place in our history. Indeed, her plan should be regarded as a template for how councils and governments should deal with the liquor industry in Australia.
The truth is that most politicians municipal, state, and federal don’t have the gumption to tackle a problem that is endemic in Australia: booze-related violence.
It indisputable that increased trading hours of licensed premises, in particular 24-hour liquor …

Books »

[13 Mar 2010 | One Comment | 2,548 views ]
Full of humour, honesty and hope

WHEN he was 14 and dressed in his school uniform, Ross Fitzgerald stood in the public bar of a Melbourne pub and at 11am ordered a brandy, lime and soda. The barman suggested he take off his hat. And so began the alcoholic life of an eminent Australian academic who, until he joined AA, spent every Christmas Day in a mental hospital between the ages of 16 and 25.
“I was so enclosed and enmeshed in myself”, he writes, “that I virtually didn’t see anything outside”.
Sober for 40 years, Dr Fitzgerald …

Books »

[3 Mar 2010 | 3 Comments | 3,476 views ]
On the booze

“The truth is that, quite often, a little bit of me goes a long way, Ross Fitzgerald writes towards the end of My Name is Ross. It is a characteristically disarming observation. Fortunately he stopped drinking forty years ago. But this account of his years of drinking and pill-popping nonetheless fills a substantial volume. And a harrowing account it is. But, again characteristically, it is relieved with wit and verve.
The temptation, and Fitzgerald is clearly not one readily to refuse temptation, must have been to present this as a …

Books »

[1 Mar 2010 | No Comment | 1,548 views ]
A riveting account of an alcoholic’s journey

Ross Fitzgerald is today a prolific writer; a distinguished historian and a well-known public figure. He is also an alcoholic.
At the age of 25 he was a broken man who, in a few short years, had gone from being an honours graduate from Sydney University to a man who, after many admissions to mental hospitals, living on what few wits remained to him, and having exhausted the patience of his many friends, had reached the nadir of his life with death closing fast upon him.
Last year he celebrated …

Books »

[1 Mar 2010 | No Comment | 1,535 views ]
Drink and the demons within

ROSS Fitzgerald hasn’t touched a drop of alcohol since November 1969. But alcohol has been the defining influence on his life. He began drinking as a 14-year-old (the barman suggested he take off his school hat when he asked for a brandy, lime and soda) and spent much of the next decade drunk.
Fitzgerald says he drank to pretend he wasn’t afraid and because of a difficult relationship with his mother and his genetic predisposition to addiction.
In person, he seems to inspire active like or dislike; in words, he …

Books »

[27 Feb 2010 | No Comment | 2,022 views ]
Review of My Name is Ross: An Alcoholics Journey

CAN someone who hasn’t touched a drop of alcohol for 40 years still be considered an alcoholic? Ross Fitzgerald certainly thinks so, and his searingly honest memoir does an excellent job of explaining that rather odd-sounding perspective.
It must have taken a lot of guts for a well-known political commentator and academic like Fitzgerald to write such a brutal account of his struggle with alcohol.
The first chapters of the book, dealing with a decade-long bender that he began at the age of 14 , are the toughest to read – not …

Books »

[21 Feb 2010 | One Comment | 1,962 views ]
The secret’s out

HIS name is Ross and he’s an alcoholic. Don’t blame me. He outed himself in his own book. He can thank the Almighty God that no one reads any more or everyone will be pointing at him. On the other hand he has no one to blame but himself. He doesn’t even believe in God so he adds “Please” before the Serenity Prayer so it goes “Please God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to …

Books, Speeches »

[15 Feb 2010 | One Comment | 5,538 views ]
It’s more than just a memoir

‘My Name Is Ross: An Alcoholic’s Journey’ is more than just a memoir. As Ross Fitzgerald makes clear, this is a book with a message. It can be located at the end of Chapter 10 where the author writes that one of the functions of this work is to reinforce this simple message , that “an alcoholic is a sick person who can recover, not a bad person who needs to get good, or a weak person who needs to be strong.
Later on, Professor Fitzgerald comments that “alcoholism is …

Books »

[13 Feb 2010 | No Comment | 1,245 views ]
Let’s celebrate 40 years of sobriety

Ross Fitzgerald has plenty to write about in this memoir. He is the author of 32 published books, a broadcaster, film producer, columnist, academic, outspoken opponent of Queensland’s Bjelke-Petersen regime, political commentator and current and past member of numerous bodies ranging from the NSW State Parole Authority to the NSW Heritage Council. He is also a fellow book reviewer for the Herald, although it should be pointed out that we have never met.
Despite these achievements, it is immediately obvious that the defining characteristic of Fitzgerald’s life is that he …

Books »

[12 Feb 2010 | One Comment | 5,681 views ]
Ross Fitzgerald’s memoirs demand to be read

Review by Peter Beattie, Former Premier of Queensland, Australia
The raw honesty of “My name is Ross: An Alcoholics Journey is compelling, confrontational and breathtaking . To reveal so much of himself in such candor show Professor Fitzgerald was deadly serious in his stated aim to help and encourage other alcoholics in their struggle with the demon drink.
Few well-known authors would have had the guts to write such a book .
By a third of the way through this painful journey I felt compelled to offer a silent prayer of thanks …