Not Fade Away
A Short Life Well LivedBook - 2003
Some people are born to lead and destined to teach--not by precept, but by the example of living life to the fullest. Peter Barton was that kind of person.
He protested at Columbia University in the 1960s, played soul music at Harlem's Apollo Theater, spent time as a ski bum and a craps dealer, and eventually emerged from Harvard Business School to become a central figure in the creation of cable television. In the prime of his life, happily married and the father of three young children, Peter came face to face with the biggest challenge in a life filled with risk-taking and direction-changing. Diagnosed with cancer, he began a journey both frightening and appalling, yet also full of wonder and discovery.
Not Fade Away recreates that journey in the intimate and alternating voices of Peter and of Laurence Shames--two men close in age yet who've chosen vastly different lives. Together, in a spirit of deepening friendship, they relive the high points of years that embodied the hopes and strivings of an entire generation. With courage, candor, and even humor, they search for meaning in Peter's unflinching confrontation with mortality.
In life, Peter was an overachieving Everyman, a vibrant spirit who showed his peers just how much is possible. In his dying, similarly, he redefines the quietly heroic tasks of seeking clarity in the midst of pain and loss; of breaking through to a highly personal, secular faith; and of achieving peace at last.