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Stories of Trauma and Transformation

Published by Post Hill Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book


The death of a child. Life-threatening illness. Plane crashes. Terror attacks. Natural disasters. Some of us never fully recover from unimaginable traumas like these, but some not only survive—they bounce back to thrive and grow.

Jolt tells the stories of people transformed by trauma, and the new paths that they pursue.

• Molly McDonald was an affluent suburban Detroit mom who faced financial ruin following a diagnosis of breast cancer. She started The Pink Project, which provides transitional financial assistance to low-income breast cancer patients.

• Liz and Steve Alderman lost their son in the World Trade Center on 9/11. As a tribute to him, they launched a foundation that builds and operates mental health clinics in post-conflict countries. More than ten years later, the foundation is going strong.

• John Gallina and Dale Beatty, both veterans of the Iraq War, suffered traumatic injuries. When they came home, they started Purple Heart Homes, a nonprofit that provides housing solutions for homeless and low-income veterans.

• Lucy McBath suffered the horrifying murder of her teenage son in a high-profile white-on-black shooting. Lucy quit her job as a flight attendant and has become a nationally known advocate for gun control.

Jolt: Stories of Trauma and Transformation tells the compelling stories of people who have moved beyond trauma to ask, “How can I make my life—and the lives of others—better?”

About The Author

Product Details

  • Publisher: Post Hill Press (February 20, 2018)
  • Length: 208 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781682615010

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Raves and Reviews

"We hear every day of post-traumatic stress disorder. But in Jolt, Mark Miller explores something more extraordinary. With rich testimony from people who were able to survive and transform their worst experiences, he explores the possibility of post-traumatic growth. It is a thoughtful and rich dive into our human potential."

– Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, author, and founder of The Conversation Project

"From the hands of a gifted writer, Jolt seamlessly weaves research with the moving experiences of real people who have been forced to confront their own personal tragedies—real people who have emerged from that struggle with the transformation of posttraumatic growth."

– Lawrence G. Calhoun, Professor Emeritus, UNC Charlotte, co-author of Posttraumatic Growth in Clinical Practice

"Everyone knows that 'bad things happen to good people.' Then what? Jolt shows us how to grow through life's inevitable triggers and unlock the power of purpose."

– Richard Leider, international bestselling author of The Power of Purpose, Repacking Your Bags and Life Reimagined

"Perhaps the most elevating of all human capacities is the ability to draw from one's own pain and tragedy the motivation and energy to reduce the suffering of others. Jolt is full of illuminating and inspiring stories of this remarkable human alchemy."

– David Bornstein, author of How To Change the World

"Jolt is a powerful read—I had to put the book down several times to absorb the powerful stories of trauma and resilience Mark Miller tells with nuance and insight. The combination of compelling storytelling and the judicious use of scholarly research brings alive the critical questions so many of us struggle with. What is my purpose and how can I make a difference? What is my legacy and how can I live a better life? Jolt will help you navigate your own journey."

– Chris Farrell, author of Unretirement and The New Frugality, senior economics contributor, Marketplace

"Until I finished reading this marvelous book, I failed to comprehend how some people find strength and motivation in the very darkest of times. Is some psychological phenomenon triggered? Is there a spiritual rebirth involved? Is our true destiny revealed? Through his deep, remarkable research and masterful storytelling, Mark Miller provides solid, no-nonsense answers and points the way for all of us to discover our deepest personal potentials when life seemingly falls apart."

– Mark S. Walton, Chairman, Center for Leadership Communication and former CNN Senior Correspondent

"For anyone who finds their world suddenly turned upside down and inside out, Mark Miller, a renowned journalist, offers a powerful handbook to getting back on your feet. Mark's compassionate, clear narratives and advice reflect his deep research into the topic of trauma and transformation and his passion for telling people's stories from the heart. Read this book to glean invaluable lessons of how others have marshalled strength from adversity (large and small) and how you, too, can find your way to the other side of pain. The experiences of those profiled in this book cling to you and shine a light on tools you can use to chart a positive path forward after a life-changing jolt."

– Kerry Hannon, national bestselling author, career expert and strategist

"Jolt sheds light on a key insight into personal finance. It opens with a poem by the American poet, Mary Oliver. The last lines are: 'Tell me, what is it you plan to do/ With your one wild and precious life?' That's the key question to ask. Personal finance isn't about money. It's nothing but tactics to support the answers to questions over the years—what you want to do with 'your one wild and precious life?'"

– Chris Farrell, Senior Economics Contributor, Marketplace, Commentator, Minnesota Public Radio

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