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DOWN ON PARCHMAN FARM: THE GREAT PRISON IN THE MISSISSIPPI DELT (Urban Life & Urban Landscape) Paperback – July 1, 1999

4.2 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Parchman Farm was built in 1900 in the heart of Mississippi, where slavery had had a stronghold before the Civil War. For the next 70 years, until the Civil Rights movement got a toehold, the Farm was operated pretty much like a Southern plantation. What brought it national attention, however, was not its penal conditions but the music and the literature it fostered. In the 1930s, John and Alan Lomax collected the chants and blues that its inmates sang, while writers as esteemed as Faulkner wrote about it as a place of security and solitude away from the madness of society. Taking a more factual approach, historian Taylor (Brokered Justice; Race, Politics, and Mississippi Prisons, 1798-1992) gives an account of what went on at Parchman over the years and how and why the old farm was finally replaced by a modern correctional facility. His tone is objective, although he clearly has reservations about the changeover. This volume should be of interest to prison historians and to general readers familiar with the mystique around the Parchman Farm. Not an essential purchase but a good choice if funds permit.AFrances O. Sandiford, Green Haven Correction-Facility Lib., Stormville, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Taylor is a Professor of criminal justice at the Southern Mississippi.

Peggy Whitman Prenshaw is a former editor of the "Southern Quarterly" (1974-1991), Millsaps College Humanities Scholar-in-Residence, and Fred C. Frey Professor Emerita, Louisiana State University. And, she is the series editor of the Literary Conversations Series (from University Press of Mississippi).
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Product Details

  • Series: Urban Life & Urban Landscape
  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Ohio State University Press; 1 edition (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814250238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814250235
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,290,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is about the penal farm system in Mississippi commonly known as Parchman. This book is an excellent book from a writer and his outlook, or perspective, on the history of Parhman Farm. This book is written by a college professor from a Mississippi university, University of Sourthern Mississippi. Therefore the book is said by scholars and critics to be pro Mississippi or somewhat defend Mississippi penal policies of the early and mid 20th century. This book is extremely informative and easy to read. It details life on the Mississippi penal farm and how it was a self sfficient, thriving "mini-civilization". It also details how prisoners played large parts in the everyday running of the farm. The best thing I can tell you to do is to read this book along with David Oshinsky's "Worse Than Slavery", develop your own conclusions from booth books and decide for yourself whether Parchman Farm was a horrible place or a practical way of rehabilitation. Oshinsky's book has an opposite view of this book and the contrast will leave you with the ability to make your own conclusions. I would reccomend this book for anyone interested in Mississippi history, as well as any college student pursuing a degree in criminal justice, corrections, criminal psychology, or any related field.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book on this rather crooked subject that still operates in some form in most all states . It is a tragedy the shape our prisons are in right now . Prison reform is definitely need as well as our criminal justice system .
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some information incorrect, especially about my father who is in book. On a whole, this book is accurate and reflects alot of Mississippi history. Would like to have seen more positivity, than negativity by the Author.
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By A Customer on July 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a wonderful experience from the reader's point of view. It goes in depth about life at Parchman Penitentiary from the guards and inmates viewpoint. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in criminology, prisons, and law.
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