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Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America's Poor Paperback – January 1, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0415935388 ISBN-10: 0415935385

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415935385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415935388
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #859,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Prison Nation goes beyond the numbers to show the complex, interwoven reasons that have produced the prison-industrial complex. In every section of the book...readers will find solid reporting, gripping writing and political revelation. -- Ken Silverstein, from the Preface
This riveting collection makes a compelling case that the United States has an INjustice system at work, and that it operates its own gulag within this supposedly free society, largely out of sight of its citizenry. The brutalities, cruelties and inhumanity widely prevalent in the way people are put in prison, kept there, degraded and mistreated, as recounted in this book's accounts of racist bias, medical care, prison labor, parole, rape, and the restraint chair, among many other topics, read like something out of Kafka and Solzenhitzyn. This important book is a shocker. -- Edward S. Herman, co-author of Manufacturing Consent
An extraordinary collection of essays by some of our most astute observers of the American prison system. What they tell us is shocking and sobering, and their analysis forces to think beyond the cruelties of everyday prison life to the social forces behind those cruelties. This volume makes clear the connection between prisons and poverty, the class nature of the justice system. It is both a treasury of information and a profound examination of imprisonment in America. -- Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States
Every American with any concern for justice and democracy ought to read this devastating book--but not right before bedtime. Prison Nation is a true horror story, a profound revelation of what the prison system is doing both to millions of poor Americans trapped in its no-exit nightmare and to America itself. But it is also an inspiring book, bringing together some of the most important work by dozens of dedicated scholars and activists. -- H. Bruce Franklin, John Cotton Dana Professor of English and American Studies, Rutgers University
This biography of Hurston is one of the best books I've read in years and I unabashedly highly recommend it. -- Jack Danger, The Portland Alliance
Documents a sea change in the criminal justice system that is eroding out democratic and egalitarian foundations. -- Ruminator Review
An outstanding new collection of essays by prison activists and social critics writing from both inside and outside prisons. -- Yes! A Journal of Positive Futures
Prison Nation
goes beyond the numbers to show the complex, interwoven reasons that have produced the prison-industrial complex. In every section of the book...readers will find solid reporting, gripping writing and political revelation. -- Ken Silverstein, from the Preface
Every American with any concern for justice and democracy ought to read this devastating book--but not right before bedtime. Prison Nation is a true horror story, a profound revelation of what the prison system is doing both to millions of poor Americans trapped in its no-exit nightmare and to America itself. But it is also an inspiring book, bringing together some of the most important work by dozens of dedicated scholars and activists. -- H. Bruce Franklin, John Cotton Dana Professor of English and American Studies, Rutgers University
Documents a sea change in the criminal justice system that is eroding our democratic and egalitarian foundations. -- Ruminator Review

From the Inside Flap

"Prison Nation goes beyond the numbers to show the complex, interwoven reasons that have produced the prison-industrial complex. In every section of the book…readers will find solid reporting, gripping writing and political revelation."
—Ken Silverstein, from the Preface

"This riveting collection makes a compelling case that the United States has an INjustice system at work, and that it operates its own gulag within this supposedly free society, largely out of sight of its citizenry. The brutalities, cruelties and inhumanity widely prevalent in the way people are put in prison, kept there, degraded and mistreated, as recounted in this book's accounts of racist bias, medical care, prison labor, parole, rape, and the "restraint chair," among many other topics, read like something out of Kafka and Solzenhitzyn. This important book is a shocker."
—Edward S. Herman, co-author of Manufacturing Consent

"An extraordinary collection of essays by some of our most astute observers of the American prison system. What they tell us is shocking and sobering, and their analysis forces to think beyond the cruelties of everyday prison life to the social forces behind those cruelties. This volume makes clear the connection between prisons and poverty, the class nature of the justice system. It is both a treasury of information and a profound examination of imprisonment in America."
—Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States

"Every American with any concern for justice and democracy ought to read this devastating book--but not right before bedtime. Prison Nation is a true horror story, a profound revelation of what the prison system is doing both to millions of poor Americans trapped in its no-exit nightmare and to America itself. But it is also an inspiring book, bringing together some of the most important work by dozens of dedicated scholars and activists."
—H. Bruce Franklin, John Cotton Dana Professor of English and American Studies, Rutgers University-Newark

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Pen Name? VINE VOICE on January 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
The articles that comprise Prison Nation not only offer perspectives on prison life and the legal system, but make for a very in depth primer in American politics. A continuing thread through many of the works is an emotional and fact based analysis of how the U.S. legal system works against the poor and working classes, while generally ignoring or even rewarding the crimes of the upper classes and corporations, while corporate crime does far more economic and even physical damage (as in deaths due to workplace hazards and malpractice, for instance). George Winslow's article "Capital Crimes" lays out in plain terms the damage done by corporate crime, while giving the facts on how little our system does to stop it. Noam Chomsky's "Drug Policy as Social Control" is a very brief, but extremely inciteful look at the politics behind the "war on drugs". There are 3 essays contributed by Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is simply one of the most eloquent and powerful political writers of our day, free man or not. Other essays deal with the cultural effects and ethical implications of the "private prison" industry and the prison labor trade, and many other potent topics. Of course, many of us already know that around 85% of prisoners are locked up for non-violent offenses. Many of us are aware of police brutality in our own neighborhoods, of race and class profiling... but what do these things mean in the bigger picture of American ideology and U.S. culture. Prison Nation offers many valuable facts, insights and questions about these topics which are central to our society. Routledge has once again published another invaluable book that many publishers would not take a chance on. Their reputation in publishing is solid in many subjects and this book certainly lives up to their reputation. Highly recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Raegan Butcher on April 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Paul Wright has been reporting on the way we treat our poverty-stricken and incarcerated criminal outcasts(the majority of whom are mentally ill)for over twenty years and every one of his books is essential reading for anyone who cares about human rights here in america, where we now have more people incarcerated than Russia or China, something of which we should be deeply ashamed. I've been to prison, I was there alongside Paul Wright and I wish more people would pay attention to the issues he high-lights, because they all point to a deep sickness in the social fabric of this country.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shauna 2L on November 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The copy I received was missing the last two chapters. The table of contents indicates that there are more pages at the end.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By dleec on October 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter needed this book so she her class and she needed it ASAP. It was Just what My Daughter needed!!! Also the Delivery was also ASAP. Thanks
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