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Jun 13, 2022

Gal Beckerman is the senior editor for books at The Atlantic. His new book is The Quiet Before: On the Unexpected Origins of Radical Ideas.

His previous work When They Come for Us We’ll Be Gone was named book of the year by the Washington Post and The New Yorker.

Beckerman reflects on his working-class origins and values, his vocation as a writer and relationship to books and literature, and career and personal lessons learned during his journey to the New York Times and now The Atlantic.

As seen with the examples of the Arab Spring, Black Lives Matter, and organizing against police brutality, Beckerman also explains the pitfalls of believing that the Internet, social media, and other digital tools are a substitute for “old school” on the ground organizing and corporeal politics in the struggle against Power and for a justice.

In short, you cannot “tweet”, “like”, “share”, or “Facebook” your way to a successful social movement and substantive resistance against fascism, authoritarianism, and other anti-democracy and anti-human forces.

Chauncey DeVega does some public thinking about the recent gun massacres in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas, America’s need for a moral reckoning, and why hope warriors and other people of conscience must be kind to themselves in order to endure in the long struggle against the many different types of evil at work in the Age of Trump and beyond.


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Music at the end of this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show is by JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound. You can listen to some of their great music on Spotify.