Eyes to the Wind: A Memoir of Love and Death, Hope and Resistance
Eyes to the Wind: A Memoir of Love and Death, Hope and Resistance

Eyes to the Wind: A Memoir of Love and Death, Hope and Resistance

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In this inspirational and moving memoir—reminiscent of When Breath Becomes Air and The Bright Hour—activist Ady Barkan explores his life with ALS and how his diagnosis gave him a profound new understanding of his commitment to social justice for all.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982111564
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 09/10/2019
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 46,606
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Ady Barkan is a social justice activist who has built three programs at The Center for Popular Democracy: the Be A Hero and Fed Up campaigns and the Local Progress network. He was a law clerk to the Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin in the Southern District of New York and prior to that he was a Liman Fellow with Make the Road New York, where he represented low-wage workers seeking to recover unpaid wages and obtain safe and dignified working conditions. He graduated from Yale Law School and Columbia College. He lives with his wife Rachael and their young son Carl in Santa Barbara, California. Eyes to the Wind is his first book.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

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

Epilogue 271

Acknowledgments 279

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Eyes to the Wind: A Memoir of Love and Death, Hope and Resistance 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
JW88 5 months ago
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.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 5 months ago
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.
Isabelle Wagner 5 months ago
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.