Cover of Unthinkable by Jamie Raskin.

The title refers to two events: the death by suicide of Jamie Raskin's son and assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6. The two events weave together in Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy by Congressman Jamie Raskin. This book provides an insiders view of grief, the events of January 6 from a Congressperson who was inside, and then the political view of January 6 from the House Impeachment Manger, who also happens to be a Constitutional law professor. And all of whom are one person, Raskin. So the stories swirl together in a way that makes each more real. All heartbreaking. The book opened up my understanding of events and the power of politics, with the different way that power is used, Donald Trump on one side, Nancy Pelosi on the other.

While I was reading the book, I kept asking myself why Congressman Raskin was writing it. Both stories so raw and painful. And in the end, with the epilogue which is the best part of the book, I realized he was writing it for history. He was writing so neither story would be washed away, glazed over, changed. This book has flaws, of course. Even with them, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Other perspectives:

  1. Micah Sifry on The Connector
  2. Claudia Grisales for NPR

Logistics: No version of the book was at my local library, so I bought an audio copy from Apple Books. I listened to it while walking Berkeley's early morning streets. Once crying hard enough that another early morning Walker stopped me to ask if I was okay. Book 05 finished 1 February.

#read2022 #JamieRaskin