Writer, working on a book for @AAKnopf. Author of @TheTrueAmerican & #IndiaCalling. Bylines at @NYTimes. Chats at TED & on TV. Husband of @PriyaParker. Father.
@MauriceChammah 's new book on the rise and fall of the death penalty is a portrait of "the unsung, helter-skelter, hydra-headed, revolution-by-a-thousand-cuts process through which real change often comes." This review just dropped in @nytimesbooks .
@MauriceChammah @nytimesbooksIn a moment of so much hunger for change and so little actual change, this book is a "vaccine against the virus of fatalism. " And it shows how what worked against the death penalty flies against many of our dominant intuitions about how change comes.
@MauriceChammah @nytimesbooksThere is a lot of talk now about changing things by raising the stakes, moving the Overton Window, etc. But the story @MauriceChammahtells about the campaign against the death penalty is different. He portrays opponents who realized that a spotlight doesn’t always help.
@MauriceChammah @nytimesbooksThe deepest lesson of the campaign against the death penalty is that real change takes a coalition of pure and impure, true believers and grapplers, old-timers and converts, people doing it for the right reasons and people doing it for their own reasons.
The filibuster was invented so civil rights laws would have to be twice as good to succeed. Now it has become the filter for virtually all big change, as a resentful white minority views progress itself as a threat. Abolish the filibuster.
This is how Mark Zuckerberg makes some of the money he then donates to make the world a better place.
What we're trying to do in America is build a kind of country that has seldom, if ever, existed. We are living through a revolt against that future. The future will prevail. Thank you to @TheLastWord with @Lawrence for airing my case for hope. Essay: