In December 2015, Zac Easter, a 24-year-old man from small-town Iowa who seemed to have a world of potential, took his own life rather than continue his losing battle against the traumatic brain injuries he had sustained as a no-holds-barred high school football player.

He left behind a raft of journals that detailed his decline, and gave his family a charge: to help give meaning to his life and his death.

“Love, Zac” is a book about sports, but it’s not a sports book. It’s a book about parenting, about what it means to be a man in 21st-century America, about our addiction to football and to violence, and about what we value as a nation. At its core, this book honors Zac’s dying wish to bring to the forefront his concerns about the safety of the sport that he deeply loved.