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Should people be frozen in time, remembered for their worst moments? Think of your worst moment: is that how you’d want to be remembered?

I think of the men I teach at a state correctional facility. To me, they are students. I treat them the same way I treat my students on campus. I don’t need to know their crimes; it has no bearing on my work there. What I do know is that they have chosen to apply to college and believe that a degree will help them create a better life than the one they had.

I think of Camilla Hall, the subject of my book coming out in December. That tweet above summarizes the gist of my book. I wanted to look at Camilla as a whole person. To most anyone who has heard her name, she is frozen in 1974, labeled as a crazy radical, a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army. What I found was a sensitive, caring person who, for myriad reasons, made the decision to join the SLA. Should that decision define her?

Obituaries are known for their glowing reports. From the small obituaries printed in my local newspaper to large, news-y obituaries like in the New York Times, there seems to be an obligation to remember the good and breeze past the bad. Eulogies, same thing. Here is the Kathy Boudin obituary.

I have a feeling Chuck Ross won’t like my book 🙂


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