American on Purpose
The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot
By Craig Ferguson
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061719547, 288pp.)
Publication Date: September 22, 2009
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In American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson delivers a moving and achingly funny memoir of living the American dream as he journeys from the mean streets of Glasgow, Scotland, to the comedic promised land of Hollywood. Along the way he stumbles through several attempts to make his markas a punk rock musician, a construction worker, a bouncer, and, tragically, a modern dancer.
To numb the pain of failure, Ferguson found comfort in drugs and alcohol, addictions that eventually led to an aborted suicide attempt. (He forgot to do it when someone offered him a glass of sherry.) But his story has a happy ending: in 1993, the washed-up Ferguson washed up in the United States. Finally sober, Ferguson landed a breakthrough part on the hit sitcom The Drew Carey Show, a success that eventually led to his role as the host of CBS's The Late Late Show. By far Ferguson's greatest triumph was his decision to become a U.S. citizen, a milestone he achieved in early 2008, just before his command performance for the president at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. In American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson talks a red, white, and blue streak about everything our Founding Fathers feared.
Craig Ferguson is the host of The Late Late Show. He is the author of the novel Between the Bridge and the River and lives in Los Angeles, California.
When Craig Ferguson dropped out of high school at age 16, he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. In his new memoir, American On Purpose, Ferguson chronicles the story of his life, from Glasgow, to big time comedy, to becoming host of CBS's Late Late Show. More at NPR.org
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“A fine writer, witty, reflective, and candid.... Ferguson is a kinetic cutup teeming with foolishness, brilliance, defiance, and heart. All this is captured in his book as an entertaining connect-the-dots journey.”
“Funny and poignant and inspirational and brilliant. Nowhere in his story of emigration and redemption does Craig Ferguson realize that as lucky as he thinks he is to be ‘American on Purpose,’ we are luckier still to have him.”
“With American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson somehow manages to avoid the pitfalls of self-indulgence and self-importance that plague most (okay, all) Hollywood autobiographies. He has, instead, written a book that is hilarious and irrepressibly daft, yet also kind, poignant, and undeniably wise. It was a joy to read.”
-Dennis Lehane, author of The Given Day
“A great read . . . almost as good as my memoir.”
-Carrie Fisher, author of Wishful Drinking
“Ferguson has given us a biographical treatment that is both brutally honest and inspirational…American on Purpose is a book that should be read.”
“Hilarious and revealing...witty and emotional.”
-The Daily Beast