The seventeen essays of Leaving the Bucket: Searching for the Sacred in Addiction give a philosophical close-up of living inside, outside and around the context of rural alcoholism and other forms of addiction. The collection is an insightful look at what drives an individual toward change while paradoxically leaving him in a static context that seems impossible to exit. Set in rural Southeast Idaho in the late 1970’s, the book chronicles the simultaneous eruptions of a tavern in a teetotaling Mormon community and the author’s interest in Dionysian pursuits. With reflections on topics ranging from the vulgar to the sacred, the book illuminates the internal wars that lead to “addiction,” the knotted behavior which has been called a disease by modern medicine but which may instead be an intense version of the drive toward historical change—a drive perhaps mimicked at all levels of existence, from the personal to the social to the ecological. Detailing what happens when the urge to change meets the lack of opportunity to do so, Leaving the Bucket will leave its readers’ thinking as changed as the community it describes.