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Live from Death Row Paperback – June 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (June 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380727668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380727667
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sentenced to death in 1982 for the murder of a police officer, after a trial that has since attracted considerable criticism, African American journalist Abu-Jamal presents a collection of his prison writings.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

After a bizarre shooting of a policeman and an equally bizarre trial, Abu-Jamal was convicted of murder and sentenced to Pennsylvania's death row. Twelve years later, he is still there, although new evidence has been found to support his innocence. This volume is a collection of his writings, which, for the most part, document the atrocities of prison life. The reader may sympathize with Abu-Jamal's plight and even question his guilt in the shooting but will probably find this book fragmented and sketchy. Instead of a continuous narrative, Abu-Jamal offers brief notes drawn together under one theme. Good prose is drowned by ravings and accusations. One can see why Abu-Jamal's commentaries on National Public Radio were abruptly canceled. The book will probably not be of value to public or academic libraries. It might be of use in correctional facility libraries where readers are interested in the case.?Frances Sandiford, Green Haven Correctional Facility Lib., Stormville, N.Y.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It makes you think, without being complicated.
erick b
Mumia Abu-Jamal's testimony of prison life is a shocking and fascinating book to read.
mhannah@concentric.net
I cant express in words how much this book spoke to me.
Dustin Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 70 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
Growing up in Philadelphia I formed my negative opinions of Mumia and his case without ever having researched his history myself. However, after the most recent Free Mumia march in Philly, I felt obligated to look into the case that riled people into such a frenzy. What I found was a case based on shaky ground at best, making it a jewel for human right activists. However, I still was not convinced either way of Mumia's innocence or his guilt. I picked up Live From Death Row hoping to develop a more informed opinion, one that was supported by my own experience with Mumia's writing. Surprisingly however, I found that the book did not deal with Mumia's case at all and instead focused on the social injustices that are acted out in our prisons every day. Mumia's anecdotes were insightful and intelligent, leading the reader to keep flipping page after page. At the very least, the book was an educational review of life in prison and deep look into the soul of a death row inmate. While I finished the book no more enlightened on the Mumia innocence/guilt question than when I started, I got a well written snap shot of life on death row. Mumia's writing will keep your interest and his intelligence and love for life shine through.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Dustin Miller on February 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
I cant express in words how much this book spoke to me. There isnt a single person who should not read this book. Most people say "it tells of the conditions of our prison system" well it does that, but He says so much more. "Live From Death Row" is a tesament to the flaws of modern society, and as participants of that society we should under stand it. This book invokes understanding, as well as rage. I pity all those who havnt taken the time to take his words whole heartedly.
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24 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Martin Lemos on October 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
The essays that Mumia writes here offer the reader an insight in the criminal justice system that you could only see if you are inside it. When reading this essays,the reader gets the feeling of depression, isolation, sadness and of despair that any person on death row might be feeling. To me, anytime that a reader can feel the emotion of a story, the writer has achieved a point. Now whether or not you agree with the death penalty, I think that you should read this book. It will force you to think about you position and see it justice is really being served. The irony now is that someone else has finally come forward and admitted to the murder that Mumia was convicted of, but Mumia is still in a life or death battle to be freed. I think that the reader will enjoy this book and be overwhelmed by the emotion
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19 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Having read the book, I'd like to point out to the prior reviewer that the only time Abu-Jamal mentions his ongoing case at all in the book is in the last few pages, and only then does he describe--in a deliberately surreal manner--not who shot who but his abusive treatment by the police immediately afterwards. It was never proven he was beaten (officials say he merely "hit a pole,"), but it seems likely. An old newspaper article even refers to Abu-Jamal's brother--also at the scene of Faulkner's death--and how a newstand he worked at was burnt down. An anonymous police source said it was likely Philadelphia police were the cause of it being destroyed. Think I'm lying? The article is on the Daniel Faulkner website!
Philadelphia's police have had a more troubled past than any of Faulkner's supporters care to admit. Sometimes it seems that Abu-Jamal is the last one to remember that.
Abu-Jamal does go to great lengths in his first book to describe the world around him as he resides in Pennsylvania Death Row. As far as I know, no one has refuted his stories about the treatment of fellow prisoners, which most can easily see as inhumane. If there have been facts that contradict his inside view of the prison system, please let us know.
I would recomend Live From Death Row not for information on Abu-Jamal's case, but for the compelling stories he has to tell. Race For Justice is a book by Abu-Jamal's attorney, Leonard Weinglass. It's far more appropriate, but be warned that it's a lengthy read through several legal documents. Whether or not Daniel Faulner supporters will produce a similar book of their own is another story. In the spirit of free speech, it's one I'd like to see but doubt will ever happen.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Josh Ferrari on May 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is masterfully written. It paints the grim picture of America's prison community, while still maintaining the humanity of the men and women inside of it, and does a wonderful job of pointing out the flaws to the American Judicial System. I highly recommend this book to anyone even vaguely interested in the subject!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rev. Dr. Jude Arnold on October 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
A Case for Reasonable Doubt a DVD of the 60 Minutes show about Mumia's case. (A really good film!)

I've been getting most of my info from 2 organizations working to Free Mumia:

Refuse & Resist! and Partisan Defense Committee. My understanding of what Mumia really wants most is to get out of jail.

The organizations say the only way to accomplish this is by drawing International Media attention to the issues of his case.

I spoke to a woman this summer from Philadelphia who said; "They will never let Mumia out of jail!" My intention is not to convert anyone, insult ugly ignorance nor incite the worst case sceneio. My heart song is merely to connect like minded individuals, shedding some positive light and love, on the serious issues of racism, the death penalty and injustice; and hopefully getting media attention, highlighting the hundreds of millions of people around the world who care about Mumia's Freedom.

WHY IS THIS CASE SO IMPORTANT?
"The case of Mumia Abu-Jamal has become a battleground in society because it concentrates so many of the reactionary elements riding high in the US today - the criminalization of black men, the suppression of dissent, the expanded death penalty, the gutting of defendant's rights, and a whole political atmosphere of blame and punishment aimed at the most oppressed. This is a dangerous time for the people, and no time to think that the government will back off from killing Mumia because they are 'too busy' with other problems, their war on the world and the shredding of civil liberties. Mumia is one of their problems.
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