From the Pits to the Pits

    a book by James Goulding

Press Article 1



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Writers Digest

10th Annual Self-Published Book Awards

Title: From the Pits to The Pits

Category: Life Stories

Name: Jim Goulding

From the Pits to The Pits is one man’s journey through drinking, drugs, various types of therapy, the lure of money, the breakdown of relationships, and the rebuilding of a life. What makes this book great is that Jim Goulding hides nothing of his journey from his readers — his honesty and his ability to express what he was going through at every step along the way make this a fascinating read. From the Pits to The Pits is a story of its time, and unfortunately many readers today are not interested in a reading about a former stockbroker from the SO’s. However, those who give this book a chance will find that its themes are all too universal and are not pinned to a particular decade or profession. The demons that haunted Jim haunt every person searching for love and success, and his story is an inspiring, though at time harrowing, one.




Press Article 1I

“In the high stakes world of life- Jimmy
Goulding & his book are both winners!”
—John Savel
Commodities Trader, Chicago Board of Trade

Testimonials :From the Pits to the Pits

I read [From the Pits to the Pits] over the course of 3 days, taking every spare moment to get a few more pages in. The story is told first-person, is always interesting and always moving, not one dull moment throughout. I could appreciate where he was coming from with respect to the big Irish family background, the problems that come w/ dysfunction in everyday family life, the want of a parent's attention and approval. What this book does is teach you to slow down, stop blaming others/family/parents/jobs, and to look within yourself for the reasons you do what you do, look inside for your happiness. It takes a higher-thinking person to stop the roller coaster and take a deep breath, live by their convictions, to actually identify and adhere to their convictions.

 I’m especially impressed that Mr. Goulding could look so deeply inside himself and leave the multi-million dollar lifestyle, realize money isn't the root of happiness, that health, family, friends are the root; choosing your convictions and living by them makes us happy. This book is highly recommended, and because this is my first Amazon review of any book I’ve ever read, that is testimonial to this book's great message, this author's compelling story.

 -Nancy Murphy


“…..the book itself is an emotional  rollercoaster and a very good account of one man's struggle to discover his own failings and come to terms with them - often very, very painfully. The first third is the ride to riches at the CBOT via Refco and various other brokerages, to reaching the T-Bond pit and making his first several million. A lot of drugs and booze flows on the way and gradually it begins to upset Goulding's equilibrium. …..this book will take you through the house of horrors roller coaster and despite being in the first person throughout, and knowing the author had survived, there are many abysses where it seems as if the author is finally going to drop through the hole and never be seen again.

-Patrick Young

“In the high stakes world of life- Jimmy
Goulding & his book are both winners!”
—John Savel
Commodities Trader, Chicago Board of Trade

“Jim’s willingness and ability to enter into and transcend the pain and suffering of family crises and separation, social temptations and seductions, economic challenge, success, adversity and loss, and emotional emptiness and enlightenment are an inspiration to the faint of heart.”
—Rob Ahrens, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

“From the Pits to the Pits is a powerful story filled with honesty and humor. Hopeful and
inspiring, Jim’s book shows that instead of being victims of our past, we can make peace
with it and learn to take control of our future.”
—Nanci Greene, Teacher

“A useful account of one mans struggle with success, failure, family and addiction.”
—Dave Duerkop

Broker, Chicago Board of Trade Jim was born and raised in Oak Park, IL. He is the youngest of six children. He is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict with 12-years ….I thought your book was just great! I finished the book two days later and loved it so much because I was able to relate to so many things in the book. 
-Paul Nowak

I finished reading your book and today and all I can say is wow.... your book was different, very different. To my surprise, the cover was an actual synopsis and not just a snag line to get you interested….. thank you very much for writing this book.  It is by far my favorite piece of writing and I think I will keep it forever and will try to show others it as well.
-Nate Capone

I was on vacation last week in Michigan and read your book in 3 sittings. I enjoyed the read very much and it did   make me think. Trading is a very tough business and it gave me some appreciation that other people have gone through similar times as I have.
-Bradley J. Rathe
Director of Research
Rotella Capital Management


I wanted you to know that last night I finished reading your book.  It was excellent and not only did I enjoy it, but I was very moved by your experiences.

Larry Israel


Couldn't put it down!!!

-Cathy DiGilio-Malone


Thank you for this book and I am so glad that you managed to cure yourself. You are an inspiration to all those people out there that are trying to recover.



Found the book very entertaining and educational.

-Robin Gibbs


By Jim Goulding


Writing has always come naturally to me and I knew

I’d produce a book sooner or later. I just needed to

sober up! Never in a million years did I think my first

book would be a Memoir. I’m too young to be writing

a Memoir; I’m only 39. However, in the sixteen-years

this book covers, I lived a lifetime.


“From the Pits to the Pits”, is written in two parts. The

first part begins In September 1979 when I was 17-

years-old. I enter the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT)

as a runner and begin to build a career there. This is the

first pit. I chronicle my rise from a runner to a million

dollar broker. I’ll take you directly to the trading floor

and the inner world of the CBOT. You’ll enter the

chaos of the trading pits and come to understand what

it’s all about.


You’ll run with me through my meteoric rise and fall.

Along the way I’ll tell inside stories about other traders

and the fortunes they made and lost. You’ll stumble

with me as I succumb to the pressures of success and

inner demons. Finally, you’ll follow me into the world

of drugs and alcohol.


The first part of the book concludes in October of 1988

as I hit bottom.


“Part II”, starts in October of 1988 as we enter a

second pit filled with my own demons. As I try to

recover from severe drug and alcohol abuse we journey

into the world of intensive psychotherapy.


You’ll meet the people who saved my life and helped me tame the

demons. Slowly I begin to put the pieces of my life

together, including the reconciliation of my marriage.

Then I face the final demon. Part II ends in September

1995 when I leave the CBOT for good and am fully

recovered from my addictions.


Although this is a story of incredible success and

failure and rebirth, it is also and most importantly a

book about the search for a relationship with my father.

It’s a quest for my father’s hallowed attention and

approval and the devastating effects this quest had on



I know that there are many people out there who feel

just like I have, who feel alone and desperate. Although

this is a Memoir, my sincere hope is that two things

will happen as you read my book. Many of you will

connect with the underlying themes. Some of you may

relate to the relationships I had with my family and coworkers

or maybe to my drug and alcohol recovery.


I offer you tangible tips and inspiration. In the back of

the book you’ll see a section for places you can begin

your recovery. Or if you just want someone to talk to,

you’ll see listings for help finding a therapist.

Secondly, I hope that you will hear a message loud and

clear: reach out and ask for help. Know that you are not

alone. Know that family relationships can be repaired.

Know that you too can live without drugs, alcohol or

any other addiction. If my book gives you hope, and I

think it will, then I have succeeded.


Feel free to email me anytime. I will answer you.

Take care and enjoy.


March 2001 to November 2001.