Individual Author Record
Name: Neil SteinbergPen Name: None Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction Born: 1960 in Cleveland, Ohio Sites:
Illinois ConnectionNeil Steinberg works for the Chicago Sun-Times and lives in the northern suburbs.
Biographical and Professional InformationNeal Steinberg began his journalism career with the Barrington Courier-Review, in Barrington, IL, and the Wheaton Daily Journal, in Wheaton, IL; In 1987 he became a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago, IL, and in 1995 began his career as a columnist with the Sun Times.
- If At All Possible, Involve A Cow, St. Martins Press, 1992
- Complete and Utter Failure: A Celebration of Also-Rans, Runners-Up, Never-Weres and Total Flops, Doubleday, 1994
- The Alphabet of Modern Annoyances, Doubleday, 1996
- Don't Give Up The Ship: Finding My Father While Lost At Sea, Ballantine, 2002
- Hatless Jack: The President, THe Fedora and The History of American Style, Plume, 2005
- Drunkard: Hard Drinking Life, Plume, 2009
- You Were Never in Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2012
Titles At Your Library
A Complete and Utter Failure: A Celebration of Also-Rans, Runners-Up, Never-Weres & Total Flops
ISBN: 0385479700 Main Street Books. 1995 So you've got these fond hopes for blissful love,professional glory, fame, and fortune. But in theback of your mind there's that nagging fear. Theman of your dreams will laugh in your face. Yourhated office rival will come up with some whizbangmarketing idea and get promoted, while you'll beasked to "help out with the phones."Steven Spielberg will buy the rights to yourscreenplay, spend $40 million producing it, and the criticswill savage the film, mercilessly singling outyour work for especially contemptuous, poisonousderision. But hey, everybody fails sometime. It'sinevitable. So don't fear failure.Embrace it. In Complete And UtterFailure, Neil Steinberg joyfully explores the manyfascinating facets of failure, from pointlessfailure (a brief history of several very dumbattempts to climb Mount Everest) to product failure(Reddi-Bacon, smokeless cigarettes, and Baby Jesusdolls) to institutionalized failure (the horrifyingDickensian spectacle of the National Spelling Bee,in which 8,999,999 children out of 9,000,000 failin an excruciatingly public and humiliatingfashion). This delightful book is filled with surprisingand useless arcana--who really invented thetelephone, what turned on Isaac Newton--guaranteed tohelp you annoy people at cocktail parties. Alongthe way Steinberg meditates on his own myriadmiscues and disappointments, beginning with his failureto perform a magic trick in front of theneighborhood kids at age four (he blames Captain Kangaroo).Complete And Utter Failure is awonderfully literate, witty book that issues aringing message for our times: If at first you don'tsucceed, have a scotch and forget about it.
The Alphabet of Modern Annoyances
ISBN: 0385481713 Doubleday. 1996 The author of
Don't Give Up the Ship: Finding My Father While Lost at Sea
ISBN: 034543675X Ballantine Books. 2002 For as long as he could remember, Neil Steinberg had heard his father Bob talk obsessively about his season at sea in the mid-1950s as radio operator aboard the Empire State, the gleaming training ship of the New York State Maritime College. The rocky crossing from New York harbor to Bermuda, and then on to Spain, Greece, and France the run-ins with drunken shipmates the shock of death at sea–Neil knew it all by heart. Now, forty-five years later, Bob and Neil, father and son, are set to embark on that same voyage together aboard the Empire State II.
And Neil is scared as hell. Scared of shipwreck, disaster at sea, terror, humiliation, and his father. But scared, above all, of the prospect of a month at sea with a man he has never understood.
In Don’t Give Up the Ship, Neil Steinberg has written a courageous, gripping, and honest memoir of an unforgettable voyage–and an unbelievably fraught relationship. This is not a hugs-and-high-fives tale scripted by Hollywood. In fact, these two men have never spent three days together without an explosion. But underneath the bitterness and disappointment, there has always been something deeper, a bond neither could ever talk about or name. To Neil, facing down the demons of middle age, this trip is his best chance, maybe his only chance, to find the father he never knew and be the son he was never able to be.
A dual memoir about their lives together and apart, Don’t Give Up the Ship helps Neil to finally understand what his dad went through nearly half a century ago as a handsome nineteen year old kid living in the Bronx of the 1940s, in flight from his own oppressive father, in search of adventure, determined to see the world, fall in love, and make something of himself.
Steinberg is too truthful a writer for the easy epiphany or the pat reconciliation. But at the end, after the landing in Naples and the quick overland trip through Italy, father and son do arrive at an understanding that changes both their lives. Don’t Give Up the Ship is not only a ripping good story of men and the sea, it is also a brave, frank, and unflinchingly real exploration of the nature of family love and the possibility of adventure.
ISBN: 0452285232 Plume. 2004 A quirky social history of American fashion explains how President Kennedy's refusal to wear a hat helped contribute to the obsolescence of the hat as a vital component of American men's fashion, tracing the history of different hat styles as a statement of a man's social status to the 1960s when the male hat became obsolete. Original.
Drunkard: A Hard-Drinking Life
ISBN: 0452295432 Plume. 2009 "A compelling read, sad and wistful and breathtakingly forthright."—Chicago Magazine
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg loved his job, his wife, and his two young sons. But he also loved to drink. Drunkard is an unflinchingly honest account of one man's descent into alcoholism and his ambivalent struggle to embrace sobriety. Sentenced to an outpatient rehab program, Steinberg discovers that twenty-eight days of therapy cannot reverse the toll taken by decades of hard drinking. As Steinberg claws his way through recovery, grieves the loss of the drink, and tries to shore up his faltering marriage, he is confronted by the greatest test he has ever faced, and finds himself in the process. Steinberg's gripping memoir is a frank and often painfully funny account of the stark-yet-common realities of a disease that affects millions.
You Were Never in Chicago (Chicago Visions and Revisions)
ISBN: 0226772055 University of Chicago Press. 2012
In 1952 the New Yorker published a three-part essay by A. J. Liebling in which he dubbed Chicago the "Second City." From garbage collection to the skyline, nothing escaped Liebling's withering gaze. Among the outraged responses from Chicago residents was one that Liebling described as the apotheosis of such criticism: a postcard that read, simply, "You were never in Chicago."