The Atlantic

'We Are Living Through a Battle for the Soul of This Nation'

The former vice president calls on Americans to do what President Trump has not.
Source: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

In January of 2009, I stood waiting in Wilmington, Delaware, for a train carrying the first African American elected president of the United States. I was there to join him as vice president on the way to a historic Inauguration. It was a moment of extraordinary hope for our nation—but I couldn’t help thinking about a darker time years before at that very site.

My mind’s eye drifted back to 1968. I could see the flames burning Wilmington, the violence

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 min read
The Books Briefing: What Makes Falsehoods Captivating
Fyre Fest, Theranos, catfishing, cons, fake-news claims both false and legitimate: The 2010s have been a decade of seemingly unprecedented uncertainty about what’s real. Books by Lee McIntyre and Farhad Manjoo describe the rise of what Manjoo calls “
The Atlantic11 min readPolitics
It’s Boris Johnson’s Britain Now
His impact in a short period of time has been revolutionary, and his resounding victory means he can remake the country.
The Atlantic9 min readSociety
Reporting for Work Where You Once Reported for Probation
Where mistrust between communities and law enforcement runs high, can people with criminal histories bridge the gap?