“What is a stroke?” This is the question that plagues Ron Smith as he emerges from the carpet bombing of his brain. The Defiant Mind: Living Inside a Stroke is a first-person account of a massive ischemic stroke to the brain stem. Smith takes the reader inside the experience and shows how recuperation happens ? the challenges of communication, the barriers to treatment, the frustrations of being misunderstood and written off, the role of memory in recovering identity, the power of continuing therapy, and the passionate will to live. Full of arresting anecdote, enlivened by a vivid and vigorous style, the book tells of successes and failures and draws on the newest research in stroke treatment. The Defiant Mind is a necessary book for stroke survivors still dealing with the effects of their trauma and for caregivers, vital to the process of recuperation, who feel hampered and harried by concern and confusion. For medical professionals, the book offers insights into the workings of the brain, the power of the brain to heal, critiques of conventional limits imposed on therapy and suggestions for ways to improve care.