Well, the news is out! I’m so excited to be writing another oral history book for Beacon Press, this time about the January 6, 2021 insurrection. 24 Hours at the Capitol will reconstruct the events of that historic day through original interviews and reporting, court documents and depositions, Congressional investigations, videos and other primary sources. It will be released upon the fifth anniversary of the insurrection, which is (surprisingly, to me at least!) already coming up in 2026.

In the years since the January 6 insurrection, so much has been written about how and why it happened and who bears responsibility, especially through the incredible and thorough work of the U. S. Congress’s January 6th Select Committee hearings and report. And that’s important work that I don’t intend to redo. But just like in the first book in this series, 24 Hours in Charlottesville, as “Charlottesville” became a catch-all that hid personal pain and stories, so too has “Jan 6.”

This book aims to reconstruct what it was actually like inside and around the Capitol during those 24 hours, when staffers remember “walking over pools of blood” as they ran for their lives. It will take a close look at President Trump—the man responsible—in scenes inside the Presidential motorcade when he lunged at an officer who refused to take him to the Capitol himself, and back in the White House in the dining room where he refused to make any public statement for hours.

The book will also dwell in the very real belief that day that this could have been the beginning of the end of American democracy. One Congressman remembers truly believing that if he and fellow members left the Capitol building on busses that had been organized for their evacuation, that the insurrectionists could “take the Capitol” and then President Trump could declare martial law because of the unrest, and the certification of electors would never take place. That congressman frantically texted his friends, fellow members, to not get on the buses because it would mean the end of America.

Much like 24 Hours in Charlottesville, this is the story of a well-planned attack coordinated largely right out in the open, the threat of which lawmakers and government officials largely underestimated because, in part, the threat was coming from white people. This narrative will examine the underlying racial implications of not only the attack itself, led by primarily alt-right white supremacists, but also in the planning and coordination of the response. 

There’s also a direct line between Charlottesville and January 6, especially in the participation of the far right and the underlying racial implications and motivations of many involved. Many of the same rioters were even present at both events. At every book event, media appearance, and signing I’ve done for 24 Hours in Charlottesville, the connections to January 6 are all folks want to talk about, and I’m excited to dig into those connections more. 

This book will also mark the continuation of what is now the 24 Hours series, gripping docu-thrillers that inform readers about the little-known details and marginalized perspectives about prominent historical events. I look forward to future opportunities to expand the series as well!

As I move forward with my reporting, I’ll be interviewing people from all walks of life about their experiences on January 6, 2021. If you have a personal story about your experience before, during, or after the insurrection, or suggestions of who else to interview, please fill out this brief form and I’ll be in touch! 

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