THE SOCIAL EDGE INTERVIEW: AUTHOR SASHA ABRAMSKY
by Gerry McCarthy
Sasha Abramsky is a journalist who has written for numerous magazine and newspapers, including: The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and the London Independent. He is a graduate of Balliol College at Oxford University, and earned his masters from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Currently Abramsky is a Senior Fellow at the New York City-based Demos Foundation, which is a national non-partisan public policy organization. His new book Conned: How Millions Went to Prison, Lost the Vote, and Helped Send George W. Bush to the White House was just published by the New Press.
I reached Abramsky in Sacramento, California, where he lives with his wife Julie Sze and their daughter Sophia.
Gerry McCarthy: Early in Conned you write about the historical roots of disenfranchisement in the U.S. You explain that: "Felon disenfranchisement, in other words, is not a mere side effect of misguided social policies or strategies of law enforcement. Rather, pruning the voter rolls has been, in the view of a significant portion of the American power elite since the end of the Civil War, a good in and of itself." Do you think there’s more recognition of the importance of putting this issue in historical context?