Wednesday, February 20, 2019 7:00 PM
Mass Humanities and Harvard Book Store welcome constitutional law expert and American University professor ROBERT L. TSAI for a discussion of his latest book, "Practical Equality: Forging Justice in a Divided Nation." In this accessible and wide-ranging work, Tsai offers a stirring account of how legal ideas that aren't necessarily about equality at all--ensuring fair play, behaving reasonably, avoiding cruelty, and protecting free speech--have often been used to overcome resistance to justice and remain vital today. Tsai traces challenges to equality throughout American history, from the oppression of emancipated slaves after the Civil War to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II to President Trump's ban on Muslim travelers and applies lessons from these and other struggles to contemporary issues like the rights of sexual minorities and the homeless, racism in the criminal justice system, police brutality, voting restrictions, oppressive measures against migrants, and more. Deeply researched and well argued, the book offers a sense of optimism and a guide to pursuing equality for activists, lawyers, public officials, and concerned citizens.