From the author of Catching the Wind, called “one of the truly great biographies of our time,”* comes the second volume of the definitive, epic biography of Ted Kennedy and a history of modern American liberalism

In Against the Wind, acclaimed biographer Neal Gabler tackles the contradictions inherent in Ted Kennedy, a man riven by deep personal flaws who nevertheless was, as one observer put it, “publicly moral,” sincerely committed to making a better, more compassionate world. As a young senator and the heir to his brothers’ crusades, he tacked with the liberal wind. But with America’s tectonic shift toward conservatism begun by Nixon and completed by Reagan, Kennedy was forced to sail against the wind, using his formidable and hard-won legislative prowess in defense of communal responsibility when it had been displaced by a valorization of individual responsibility.

Both politically and personally, Kennedy found himself adrift in a time of conservative dominance—a moral anachronism when the country seemed to have turned its back on racial justice and economic equality. But despite the country’s direction and mood in the Reagan era and afterward, he ultimately regained his ballast and emerged not only as the political conscience of the nation but also as the “Lion of the Senate,” who was arguably the most effective legislator in the Senate’s history.

In this outstanding conclusion to the saga that began with Catching the Wind, Neal Gabler offers his inimitable insight into a man who fought to keep liberalism alive when so many were determined to extinguish it. Against the Wind sheds new light both on one of the most revered figures in the great American century and on America’s current existential crisis. 

 *Sean Wilentz, New York Times bestselling author of Bob Dylan in America and The Rise of American Democracy