In his mid-forties, Art Berman was two decades into a successful corporate career in New York City. He was happily married, had a comfortable suburban lifestyle, and was father to three remarkable children.
Then it all went sideways. First, from his office across the street from the World Trade Center, he experienced the horrific events and traumatic aftermath of September 11. Then, following a relocation to Minneapolis, his career—a primary source of his personal identity—crashed.
On his fiftieth birthday, a jobless Art embarked on the trip of a lifetime, throwing caution to the wind and moving his family to Florence, Italy. There he began to excavate his new life piece by piece.
From the sublime delights of twilight passeggiatas through Florence to helping a ninety-six-year-old World War II veteran complete the New York City Marathon, Art in the Middle Ages reminds us it's never too late for a fresh start.
This personal memoir is a must-read for midcareer professionals who know there has to be something more.
Art Berman had a twenty-five-year corporate career, holding several senior leadership roles. After leaving his corporate life at the age of fifty, his path was enriched by a great variety of life experiences, and his first book, Art in the Middle Ages, describes this journey: he moved to Italy with his family; he taught at two universities; he led a nationally recognized anti-poverty program and a large, interfaith human services organization; and he volunteered on numerous nonprofit boards. On his post-corporate journey, Art also ran over forty marathons, attended culinary arts school, rediscovered his love for playing piano, and competed in National Senior Games 3-on-3 basketball tournaments. His all-time favorite role and job title, though, is Dad. He lives in Minneapolis, where he continues to enjoy a very full life.
"I loved this book. Art chronicles his difficult journey to make major life changes in a compelling narrative, and he shows the beauty in all of it." - Marcia Ballinger, author of Make the Jump: Reinvent your Career in the Nonprofit Sector
"Art's 'hero's journey' is an inspiration. Moving and truly unforgettable, his story will resonate with anyone who seeks greater meaning and purpose from life." - Mike Meyer, author of Work and Win with an Executive Coach
"Starting from a harrowing story of surviving 9/11, this beautifully written memoir grabs you and takes you on an unexpected journey, with a midlife twist that just might inspire you to take a chance yourself." - Dr. Dawn Graham, author of Switchers: How Smart Professionals Change Careers and Seize Success
"ART IN THE MIDDLE AGES inspires us to follow what Carlos Castaneda calls a 'path with a heart'—a path of purpose, love, and commitment to family and community and to being our best selves. Art offers guidance through his story, and he is a wise and engaging writer. This book is an excellent guide for anyone considering a transition to a new yet similar job or a transformation, perhaps to a nonprofit-sector leadership opportunity as Art did." - George Dow, President of George Dow Consulting
"This is a beautifully written journey of midlife awakening triggered by the life changing experience of 9/11. Art shares his insights, struggles, and simple pleasures, and the reader gains an appreciation of the courage it takes to explore new possibilities and eventually create new beginnings. This book will inspire anyone who finds themselves wondering if there is another career path for them, or if they are ready for the adventures of the road less taken." - Kathy Andrus, Executive Career Consultant
"Art brings a unique personal perspective to a question we are all, ultimately, concerned with: what happens as we age and face life's adversities? This book offers wise insights for how to turn crisis into calling." - Richard Leider, author of The Power of Purpose