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In This Timeless Time: Living and Dying on Death Row in America (Documentary Arts and Culture, Published in association with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University) Hardcover – April 16, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A uniquely powerful contribution to the literature on prisons, criminal justice, and capital punishment in the United States. . . . Not to be missed.--Journal of Southern History



If opponents of the death penalty were to choose one book for their cause, this could well be it. . . . Jackson and Christian write in a direct, journalistic style, poignant and to the point. This book will appeal to those with a specific interest in criminal justice and the death penalty as well as curious casual readers.--Library Journal Starred Review



In this comprehensive, well-crafted book . . . Jackson and Christian build upon the photographs and interviews from death row in Texas that yielded their 1979 book and documentary Death Row (DVD included). Here, photos and text reveal inmate life, discuss capital punishment, and share the fate of each man: execution, a commuted sentence, parole, or after more than two decades, an innocent verdict. . . . [T]he book raises important questions about the judicial system and the practice of capital punishment in our society.--Publishers Weekly



The book deals in emotion magnificently. . . . A moving piece of photojournalism and a fitting argument against the death penalty.--Texas Books In Review



In This Timeless Time is as close to perfection as a publisher can produce.--The Federal Lawyer



An unflinching commentary on the judicial system and the fates of the men they met on the Row. . . . They made a body of work no one else could.--Prison Photography blog



Jackson and Christian's book gives some of those men a face. Therein lays its beauty.--The Rag Blog



A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Social Science Title



All readers concerned about the U.S. prison system and capital punishment will benefit from this important work.--ForeWord

Review

In This Timeless Time is a cry of the heart . . . and should become the definitive book on the medieval cruelty of our Death Rows. Once read, none of us can turn our view away and say, 'We did not know.'--Michael Ratner, attorney and president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights

|With absolute fairness and profound honesty, Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian carry us into the tragic world of a group of prisoners living on a Texas Death Row. Through unforgettable stories and photos, we come to feel the suffering, guilt, and confusion of these men, as well as their inextinguishable human dignity. We are also given a vital lesson in the strange element of chance that lies at the foundation of capital punishment, our correction system's 'most significant act.' This powerful book calls us to reflect on the extraordinary circumstance of prisoners not 'doing time' but waiting for time to run out on Death Rows all over America.--Sister Helen Prejean

|In the over twenty years since Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian's work on a Texas death row began, correcting the injustices of capital punishment has been much too slow. In This Timeless Time underscores how urgent and critical it is to give voice to the voiceless, hope to the hopeless. This first-rate work speaks to our shared need as Americans to right the wrong that is capital punishment.--John Lewis, U.S. congressman and civil rights leader

|In In This Timeless Time, authors Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian have accomplished something quite remarkable. Granted virtually unprecedented access to one of the darkest, least-seen sectors of American society (Death Row), and they have emerged from this foreboding place with something terrible and beautiful. For what is more terrible than this modern-day place of skulls, this (to quote a former Supreme Court justice, Harry Blackmun) "machinery of death"?
Beauty? Where can beauty be in such a haunting, fatal place? And then one looks at photos, black and white, showing men at play, men in tight discussion, men with visages of hopelessness, loss, and hope. Yes, hope.
The access shown here, to make such a project possible with few restrictions, would scarcely happen today. The authors reveal a Death Row (in Texas's infamous Ellis Unit) that was, as horrible as it was, light years better than the bitter present.
A revelation came to me as I gazed at these pictures from the recent past, and over a thousand miles away: every death row is different; and every death row is the same.
Jackson and Christian have pulled back the proverbial curtain so that all can see the American Way of Death.--Mumia Abu-Jamal, co-author of The Classroom and the Cell

|Most us us have formed whatever opinion we hold on the death penalty without any direct experience of what life is like inside an institution specially designed by trial and error to utterly dehumanize its inhabitants (and by inevitable, toxic osmosis, its employees) in order that WE THE PEOPLE are able to take their lives at a given time on a given date. Pray that In This Timeless Time is as close as you ever get.--Steve Earle, singer-songwriter and author of I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive

|"These photos rewind, then freeze, time, catapulting me back to a place that still invades the core of who and what I am today, nearly thirty-four years later. Most everyone in this book was executed. Most everyone said they were innocent. I did too . . . and I was. 'It's not about innocence or guilt, Kerry,' Bruce Jackson told me in 1979 as I peered out of my cell during our first interview. 'It's about what we do as a society.' I didn't get it back then, but I do now. With this book, Bruce and Diane have captured the face of America's death penalty machine.--Kerry Max Cook, former prisoner "Cook, Ex: 600," exonerated through DNA testing after serving 22 years

|In This Timeless Time presents images and words of condemned men who are otherwise abstractions and provides a compelling history of death row over the last thirty years. Nothing like this book exists, or could ever exist again. I could not recommend this book more strongly.--Billy Sothern, death penalty lawyer and author of Down In New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned City

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Product Details

  • Series: Documentary Arts and Culture, Published in association with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (April 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807835390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807835395
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 9.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #603,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gemignani on April 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although depressing reading, this is a masterful account of life in prison in general and on death row in particular. The inhumanity of our prison system for both prisoners and those who work in the prisons comes through clearly. I don't think hell could be worse than life on death row.
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By paulb on March 1, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book arrived and was in super condition. The DVD played well all in all this was awesome
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christina R. Meier on November 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ordered this for a friend. He likes to watch this type of thing. He said he loves it and has watched it a few times. Great buy.
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