Acclaimed writer, bestselling author, and founder of Salon magazine, David Talbot has brought us masterful and explosive headline-breaking stories for over 25 years with books like the New York Times bestsellers Brothers, The Devil’s Chessboard, and nationally recognized Season of the Witch. Now for the first time, journalist and historian David Talbot turns inward in this intimate journey through the life-changing year following his stroke, a year that turned his life upside down, and ultimately, saved him.
In short chapters that had their genesis on Facebook, Talbot recounts a year of recovery, upheaval, and transformation following the stroke that almost killed him. He also reflects on the pace of the stress-filled career that brought him to this precipice, in his mid-60s, while he was still trying to navigate his way through considerable Hollywood challenges in attempting to bring his books to the screen. As the hard-charging CEO and editor-in-chief of Salon, he championed progressive investigative journalism at a time when the industry was heading toward a financial abyss. “I believed then that Salon was worth dying for. We were caught up in history’s hurricane,” he writes. “My stroke did not just change my life,” he writes. “It saved my life.”
By necessity, he slowed down, he lost a lot of weight, and he pared his existence down to the essentials and became focused on what really matters. He made his peace with death and learned to “live each moment like it’s your last.” These are the sort of sentiments upon which countless self-help books are constructed, but Talbot demonstrates the conviction of someone who has been there and back and now knows what is really at stake.
In his signature voice and with powerful storytelling, Talbot examines the physical, emotional, and psychological impact his stroke has had on his identity. Along the way Talbot offers readers insider stories on the wild early days of Internet journalism, insights into the new tech culture, the down and dirty of Hollywood, and much more. This is an illuminating, often humorous, portrait of how a health crisis can truly shift one’s perspective on life and purpose.