cover image Time is All We Have: Four Weeks at the Betty Ford Center

Time is All We Have: Four Weeks at the Betty Ford Center

Barnaby Conrad. Arbor House Publishing, $17.95 (272pp) ISBN 978-0-87795-835-2

Betty Ford's doctor, Joseph Pursch, states in a foreword that this is the best book on alcoholism and drug addiction treatment that he has read. It is among the best written by the author of Matador and some 17 other books. Conrad at age 63 was an alcoholic who had failed in his attempts to stop drinking. Then he entered the Betty Ford Center in Southern California, run on Alcoholics Anonymous principles by recovering addicts. In Conrad's candid, comprehensive account, readers virtually live the patients' experiences. Accounts of his progress and that of fellow alcoholics are interspersed with poignant reflections on F. Scott Fitzgerald and other authors destroyed by drinking. But his concentration in the book is primarily on the people responsible for the center's signal successes. Among them is the former First Lady, no figurehead, but actively engaged in helping other recovering addicts. (November 21)