February 2, 2020

It is my understanding that tonight two groups of large men engaged in a contest of athletic prowess, and that one of them prevailed over the other. If you were into this contest, I hope you are content with the outcome.

Some of you may have heard me say that I started these Letters quite inadvertently at a time when I was up to my eyeballs in the work of finishing a book. While America was watching the Super Bowl tonight, I finished the last of the last of the last page proofs on that book. We will have final pages later this week, and I will begin to read the audio version on Saturday. We will have books in hand by mid-March.

This book came from a very different place than these Letters, and you may or may not find it interesting. It covers all of American history from Shakespeare to Trump in 200 pages, and is probably the smartest thing I’ve ever written, but it is not an easy book to live with. It argues that our peculiar history has left our democracy vulnerable to oligarchs who can leverage racism and sexism to win power whenever it looks like women and people of color might become equal.

I have watched the news today as I worked, and there is nothing that cannot wait until tomorrow, when the Senate will convene to hear closing arguments in Trump’s impeachment trial.

So I am taking the night off. The end of a book is much like the peculiar triumph of childbirth. You are relieved, and know intuitively that you have produced something new and unique that will take on a life and a meaning of its own, and you know you are incredibly blessed to have been able to play a role in that new creation. But you are also drained beyond belief, and oh. so. tired.

Tomorrow we will pick it all up again. But tonight, we—or I, anyway-- rest.

The cover: