I’ve made this joke many times, that I’ve wanted to title my books We Will Never Learn and I Have Proof, but I’ve never wanted to more than with this one. I’m giving my book a final read before sending it to my editor, where it will go on to copy editing. It’s a chance to step back, and reflect on what the book says as a whole.
This book covers so many areas: criminal justice, mental health, poverty, health care, and I’ve had the opportunity to learn how we, as a society, have handled very difficult problems in these fields for the past 150 years or so.
But what I’ve learned, as so many historians learn over and over, is that we keep doing the same terrible things over and over. It’s most striking in the area of criminal justice, where I read about the same appalling practices that John Oliver covers in his show Last Week Tonight.
I’ve probably posted these sentiments before, I’m sure I’ve written posts with this title before, but I’m just really feeling it now. I’m going over what I’ve written about prisons full of teenagers and poor people, and the bail system, and it’s just appalling. What upsets me most is, I don’t know how to turn it around. I have no suggestions. Well, no realistic suggestions, but I’ll post about that when my book comes out.
I’ve certainly made my book sound appealing, haven’t I??
Tomorrow is my birthday, and this is a present from a friend!