Ady Barkan loved taking afternoon runs on the California coast and holding his newborn son, Carl. But one day, he noticed a troubling weakness in his hand. At first, he brushed it off as carpal tunnel syndrome, but after a week of neurological exams and two MRIs, he learned the cause of the problem: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. At age 32, Ady was given just three to four years to live. Yet despite the devastating diagnosis, he refused to let his remaining days go to waste.
Eyes to the Wind is a rousing memoir featuring intertwining storylines about determination, perseverance, and how to live a life filled with purpose and intention. The first traces Ady’s battle with ALS: how he turned the initial shock and panic from his diagnosis into a renewed commitment to social justice—not despite his disability but because of it. The second, told in flashbacks, illustrates Ady’s journey from a goofy political nerd to a prominent figure in the enduring fight for equity and justice who is “willing to give [his] last breath to save our democracy” (CNN).
From one of today’s most vocal advocates for social justice, Eyes to the Wind is an evocative and unforgettable memoir about activism, dedication, love, and hope.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Diagnosis 1
Chapter 2 Awakening 27
Chapter 3 Apprenticeship 49
Chapter 4 In Search of Peace 77
Chapter 5 Local Progress 99
Chapter 6 Fed Up 119
Chapter 7 Progression 157
Chapter 8 Liftoff 173
Chapter 9 Resistance 199
Chapter 10 Hope 225
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ady Barkan is a lawyer and political activist who felt in 2016 at the age of 32 that life couldn't get any better. He and his wife Rachael had professional careers that they loved and a newborn son, Carl. But then came Ady's inconceivable diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), a disease which causes the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles. Barkan learns that while each patient has their own disease trajectory, most ALS patients will die within 3-4 years. This book articulates Barkan's journey: an extraordinary man with an exceptional career. Throughout the book, Barkan provides an articulate, meaningful and thought-provoking description of his life leading up to his diagnosis and the time since. He imparts the obvious grief and panic felt with a diagnosis of a terminal illness, and provides intense insight into the challenges of dealing with a life where additional loss is felt weekly. Despite the ramifications of ALS, Barkan continues his work as a political activist fighting against the political changes turning back the clock on American democracy. The achievements of Barkan, especially in the context of his terminal illness, are inspirational, motivating and memorable. This is one of those books which will stay in my heart for the rest of my life. I wish to thank Netgalley and Atria books for the opportunity to read this memorable book in exchange for an honest review.
This book is inspirational and very informative. I have been following politics on the news and enjoyed seeing it through this author's experiences and knowledge. I'm amazed with his courageous acceptance about his illness and how he's coping and fighting towards the end.
After enjoying both When Breath Becomes Air and Chasing My Cure, I was excited to pic up Eyes to the Wind by Ady Barkan. I had a rather slow start with the first half but really felt like his story-telling abilities improved throughout the second half. Based on the description of the book, I expected to read more about his fight with ALS but the majority of the book was about his political activist life, which is very fascinating nonetheless. Before picking up this book, I didn't even think about the fact that his story would be about all the happenings of the last couple of years but it was fascinating to read about his inside views of movements that many of us have only seen on social media and tv. While I would have liked to read more about his personal life, I still am grateful that I was able to read his story and wish him the best. Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.