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The Meaning of Freedom: And Other Difficult Dialogues (City Lights Open Media) Paperback – August 14, 2012


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The Meaning of Freedom: And Other Difficult Dialogues (City Lights Open Media) + Angela Davis: An Autobiography + Are Prisons Obsolete?
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Product Details

  • Series: City Lights Open Media
  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: City Lights Publishers (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872865800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872865808
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Davis, a political progressive icon of the 1960s, tackles the concept and application of freedom in the context of the twenty-first century. She focuses on the growth of the prison industry nationally and internationally, reflecting on forces of capitalism that undercut human freedom. Challenging the reader to conceive of a world without prisons, Davis champions a concept of prison abolition. Hers is not a utopian perspective but one based on historical analysis of how prisons evolved as an alternative to punishment by death and as a continuation of post-slavery racial control. Davis examines the connection of poor education to low employment for American minorities, particularly blacks, making them easy targets for the prison stampede. She also explores the forces of capitalism in relation to developing nations, producing economic instability that leads to mass immigration and another population vulnerable to incarceration. This book is a collection of Davis’ lectures from 1994 through 2009, interweaving themes of freedom and bias based on race, gender, and sexual orientation. Davis is at her best linking these perceptively separate segments into a broader concept of freedom across all the lines that separate us. --Vernon Ford

Review


"This document of contemporary thought by a major world-historical figure, Davis' first full-length book in almost a decade, makes it timelessly clear that while no freedom fight will ever be easy—'We can’t rely on simple categories'—every real triumph, however small and short-lived, will always be worth it." -- Todd Steven Burroughs, Ebony.com

"The 12 speeches delivered between 1994 and 2009, and collected here for the first time, provide as good an entry point as any into the radical life and ideas of the political activist and thinker Angela Davis." -- San Francisco Chronicle

"In this collection of 12 previously unpublished speeches, the longtime activist asks readers to imagine a social landscape devoid of institutional and cultural injustice. Freedom is a process of becoming, she asserts; it can't be fully realized without collective participation by a demanding society."--Ms. Magazine

"Angela Y. Davis proves that it's still possible to find a new, refreshing way to discuss race, gender, class, and sexuality. In this heartfelt examination through previously unpublished speeches, Davis discusses these issues with simple language and challenges us to think about how feminism and racism relate to our everyday lives."--Bust Magazine

"This book is a collection of Davis’ lectures from 1994 through 2009, interweaving themes of freedom and bias based on race, gender, and sexual orientation. Davis is at her best linking these perceptively separate segments into a broader concept of freedom across all the lines that separate us."--Booklist

"As always, Davis is particularly concerned with the prison-industrial complex, yet her thoughts on marriage equality, immigration and globalization are just as thought-provoking." -- San Jose Mercury News

"Angela Davis has devoted her career to this fundamental question of freedom, and its seemingly inherent other, oppression. The need for social change in America is great, but constantly thwarted by institutional injustice. Davis is calling for real democracy, which comes not from any law or proclamation, but by participatory social process."--Alexis Coe, SF Weekly

"Davis is careful to bring current, pressing, and local issues into each of her speeches. The same undergirding of what the Combahee River Collective called 'interlocking' oppressions organizes not only her speeches but also her responses to audience members included in the book, providing some of the richest moments in the collection." —Alexis Pauline Gumbs Make/Shift Magazine

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
Davis made so many things clear for me!
shewhokeepsitg
Required book for class and so far it is very interesting and informative.
Denise Peterson
I love Angela Davis and this book confirms my affections.
Rachel A. Phillips

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BlackJack21 on August 31, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Angela Davis' book "The Meaning of Freedom" is a collection of speeches/jeremiads that span the last twenty years of her career as a leftwing civil rights activist. The book is compelling, intellectually provocative, and emphatically charged insofar as social injustice is concerned.

Davis is fearless when it comes to raising the issue of civil rights for all people of different races, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and let's not forget felons. Davis believes the American dream should be a reality that everyone should have access to. Unfortunately, they don't.

In most States, the LGBT community still doesn't have the legal right to marriage. Also, felons are relegated to second class status for the rest of their lives, permanently losing the right to vote, all the while, legally being denied work and not being able to apply for social programs in order to get back on their feet. The Clinton Crime Bill is a prime example of this apartheid behavior toward felons in the United States. As a matter of fact "racism plays a major role in determining who is subject to state punishment and who is not!" The reasons why are staggering as Davis points out during the 2000 election in Florida. Overall, 950,000 former felons reside there and if they were given the right to vote, its plain to see that Al Gore would have been elected president of the United States. The real objective insofar as eradicating the civil rights of the incarcerated is to maintain a form of hegemonic despotism in the auspices of a pseudo-democracy, which the Ultra-Right would control.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rachel A. Phillips on May 9, 2013
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I love Angela Davis and this book confirms my affections. I needed a book to review for a college course on racism and sexism in America. Her work is for the progressive person looking for inspiration on a conceptual an obtainable future. A future where classism is chipped at, oppression is seen in all its forms and we are not slaves to capitalism.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Hill on May 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A voice of reason from the early 60's and still going strong.
Is anyone listening? When you hear the words, "Freedom & Democracy", better walk the other way...!
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By Denise Peterson on September 3, 2013
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Required book for class and so far it is very interesting and informative. Will read more books about her life.
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By shewhokeepsitg on August 21, 2013
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Angela Davis is brilliant! This collection of speeches opened my eyes to the social and civil injustices of the prison system in America. Davis made so many things clear for me! This message is in dire need of hearing. Davis is fearless!
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