06/20/2013 10:55 am ET Updated Aug 19, 2013

Memoir of Survival

I've been on the air -- at various stations (WBAI, WEVD, PRN.FM and currently at Sirius XM Radio) -- for almost thirty-five years. And I've lived through almost seventy years of American history, a great deal of which I've talked about on my various radio shows.
Now here we are -- in America, in the world, in June of the year 2013, and I have to say that I've never seen things worse than they are at this moment. Global corporate dominance of governments that make the UN a quaint old antique; Murderous dictatorships in every part of the world; Massive unemployment and poverty -- and the very planet itself in jeopardy of extinguishing every living thing on its surface.

Every week I read dozens of articles, sometimes complete books, about politics, wars, the environment, corporate takeover of our government, poverty, etc., and I interview authors, politicians and various experts on my show. And when I do this I always ask for some hopeful comment at the end of the interview -- because we sure as hell need some hope.

One thing I've learned, not just in my own life, but in doing these shows (and delivering the occasional sermon on how to save our democracy or reclaim our planet) is that people listening absolutely need this hope. They need someone they can listen to who looks at all the darkness and tries to perceive the light; someone who can tell a story that has, not a "happy" ending, but an ending that reveals at least a chance for the human race to redeem itself.

I've also learned that the race can't redeem itself just in democratic mass movements, and -- here's a bright spot; there are plenty of those these days -- it has to re-build itself one person at a time. The positive end result of any social or political movement is the sum of individual efforts and triumphs.

All of this to advertise a collection of stories I've written about my own journey and efforts to survive and triumph over my own external and internal demons. My new book, A Long Swim Upstream, Stories by Mike Feder, is available now on Amazon and other platforms.

These are -- for the most part -- stories originally told live on the radio or performed as on-stage monologues. I've transcribed them, polished them up and published them in this new book. They are stories about being a child, and about being a parent; stories about madness and recovery, about strange journeys and hard, hard jobs. I know they strike a universal chord because I've heard from thousands of listeners and readers over the years telling me how much they could identify with the stories.

So, if you're looking for a little inspiration (not to mention some genuine moments of pure humor), I recommend this book. We all need some entertainment in this grim world -- and along with the entertainment, some stories about surviving the obstacles that life can put in our path.