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Jamie B. Raskin


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Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy

On Jan. 6, 2021, Congressman Jamie B. Raskin went to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to determine the election results and officially declare Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election. As the election was being counted, a mob incited by President Trump attempted to disrupt the process by storming the Capitol. Two days earlier, Raskin had buried his 25-year-old son, Tommy Bloom Raskin. The Unthinkable is an appeal to concord and hope, as well as a passionate fight for brotherhood and truth in defense of democratic values, and a declaration of love for his son.

Edited by Irmtrud Wojak, Joaquín González Ibáñez and Holger Buck

ISBN: 978-3-949379-09-3
April 2023
circa 450 pp.
  • Description


Unthinkable. Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy

Edited by Irmtrud Wojak, Joaquín González Ibáñez and Holger Buck
Translated byNathaniel Horowitz und Karoline Ruhdorfer

Presstext (in German): PDF

Jamie Raskin´s work in defending the principles of democracy of our battered republic has been an inspiration to us all . We thank Raskin for his eloquent and passion handling of your duties as manager of the second impeachment trial with Donald Trump. Unthinkable is a remarkable book.

Paul Auster

Jamie Raskin quotes Sophocles: “One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life. The word is love.” This is the only word that can adequately sum up what Raskin calls “two impossible traumas” — the “shattering death by suicide” of his 25-year-old son, Tommy, on Dec. 31, 2020, and the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, both of which had seismic personal and professional repercussions for the Maryland Democrat. (…) Unthinkable is a celebration of citizen activists, public servants, survivors, family and hard-won, against-all-odds optimism. As Raskin puts it, “I have learned that trauma can steal everything from you that is most precious and rip joy right out of your life.” But, when he rushed through dark passageways under the Capitol last year, there was one emotion he did not feel: fear. Raskin writes, “My trauma, my wound, has now become my shield of defense and my path of escape, and all I can think of is my son propelling me forward to fight.”

Elisabeth Egan, New York Times

About the Autor

Congressman Jamie Raskin has proudly represented Maryland’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2017. Prior to his time in Congress, Raskin was a three-term State Senator in Maryland and the Senate Majority Whip. He was also a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law for more than 25 years. He has authored several books, including the Washington Post bestseller Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus the American People and the highly acclaimed We the Students: Supreme Court Cases For and About America’s Students. Congressman Raskin is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School and a former Editor of the Harvard Law Review. He and his wife Sarah live in Takoma Park.

The Editors

Irmtrud Wojak (Germany) is a historian, managing director of the non-profit BUXUS STIFTUNG GmbH and founder of the Fritz Bauer Forum (Center for Human Rights) in Bochum. Wojak is author of the Fritz Bauer biography and co-editor of Das Undenkbare.

Joaquín González Ibáñez (Spain) is a lecturer in international law and international relations at the Universidad Complutense Madrid and one of the directors of the Berg Institute. He is the translator and editor of the Spanish edition of Unthinkable. Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy, and co-editor of Das Undenkbare.

Holger Buck (Germany) is Professor of International and German Business Law at the htw saar University of Applied Science in Saarbrücken and a legal historian. He is co-editor of Das Undenkbare.

Contact for press and events

Lyrenstraße 13, 44866 Bochum, Germany

Email: or
Phone: 02327 – 5496737

Jamie B. Raskin, Das Undenkbare. Trauma, Tatsachen und die Tücken der amerikanischen Demokratie. Translated by Nathaniel Horowitz and Karoline Ruhdorfer. (Library Literatur and Hinab Rights, ed. by Irmtrud Wojak, Joaquín González Ibáñez and Holger Buck). Bochum: BUXUS EDITION, 2023, ISBN 978-3-949379-09-3.

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