Monday, April 19, 2010

American On Purpose by Craig Ferguson

American On Purpose is an uplifting and fun read. This is not to say it is an entirely funny read. There is plenty of humor interspersed, as would be expected of the host of The Late Late Show, but this memoir is a reflection on the harrowing journey Ferguson took through drugs, alcohol and failed relationships before landing a successful show-biz career in the land of the free and home of the brave.

Growing up in Scotland, Ferguson felt an affinity for the United States as a young child, and after a visit to NYC he swore he would return to pursue a career in Hollywood. It was a long time before his dream was realized. There are a lot of dark moments as Ferguson hits several lows but eventually the light dawns, he reaches out for help and begins a slow but successful climb to sobriety and success. Eventually, Ferguson decides that the U.S. of A. is a people he identifies with and has a Constitution he believes in. He truly is a patriot who thought carefully before becoming a U.S. citizen.

Ferguson is a captivating writer who is able to recount events in his life without boring his reader to death. And surprisingly he handles the darker moments of acid trips and wild brawls in such a way that made me neither disgusted nor overly sympathetic. He maintains an endearing honesty throughout and an uplifting message of hope for anyone who has ever experienced or known someone who is consumed by an addiction. I strongly suggest viewing a few of his shows before reading because a) Ferguson is hilarious and b) it was so much fun to hear his Scottish accent in my head while I read. I enjoyed this book. It’s nice to know some people truly love this country. I am reminded of a professor of mine from Uganda who received his citizenship while I was taking his class. We were all so excited for him and he was thrilled. Encountering stories such as these remind me how precious our freedoms are and that the U.S. is still the land of opportunity!
Publisher: Harper, 2009          Source: Purchased at a Local Bookstore
Rating: 4 Stars                          Recommended Age: 16+ (for language and drug use descriptions)


  1. I read this a few weeks ago and was surprised by how honest Craig was. I was really moved by his story. glad you liked it and loved your review!

  2. Thanks! It was a good read. =)

  3. I love Ferguson, and had completely forgotten about this book! Thanks for posting this enjoyable review! I think I'll definitely be reading this one!

  4. Great review! I'll have to pick this one up at my local library-I saw it on the shelf the other day. He won me over back when Brittany Spears went a little crazy and he told everyone to back off because she was just a girl going through a bad time without the luxury of privacy. Gotta love a man with a heart!