From the list on if you want government to work better.
Who am I?
I have spent my professional career attempting to reform the justice system and create safer communities. For nearly two decades, I served as the executive director of the Center for Court Innovation (now the Center for Justice Innovation). Now, I co-edit a policy journal called Vital City that attempts to spark new thinking about how to achieve public safety. Over the years, I have worked with numerous city, state, and federal officials. I have seen that most of the people working within government are trying their best in difficult circumstances. I have also seen that it is enormously difficult to change government systems and solve complicated social problems.
Greg's book list on if you want government to work better
Why did Greg love this book?
My friend and co-author Aubrey Fox recommended this book to me not long after we met.
I liked it so much that I think it is actually one of the reasons we became friends in the first place. Tilting at Mils is the story of an innovative effort by the Natural Resources Defense Council, a leading environmental nonprofit, to create a paper mill in the Bronx in the 1990s.
The initiative attracted millions of dollars and high-level political support, both in New York City and Washington DC. But the project never happened.
Tilting at Mills is a gripping story of failure, not due to malfeasance or incompetence, but because achieving anything is difficult and lots of things can go wrong, including rotten luck and bad timing.