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Uprising: Understanding Attica, Revolution, and the Incarceration State (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Clarence B. Jones , Stuart Connelly
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99
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Book Description

In September 1971, the bloodiest prison riot in American history took place in sleepy upstate New York town of Attica. Yet most of that blood was spilled not by the inmates who took over Attica Correctional Facility during four desperate days, but by the state's governor and future vice president Nelson Rockefeller.

This is the personal story of what those days were like, what went wrong, and how the tragedy at Attica holds up a mirror to America's dark treatment of its prison population.

Clarence B. Jones and Stuart Connelly, the authors of the acclaimed memoir "Behind The Dream: The Making of the Speech That Transformed a Nation," take on the most urgent and least understood civil rights issue of today's society -- prisoners' rights.

Jones, the reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s former attorney and draft speechwriter, now tells the personal story of his time battling and negotiating for the inmates’ survival as one of the observers and requested by the inmates during the rebellion.

But "Uprising: Understanding Attica, Revolution, and the Incarceration State" goes beyond memoir -- Jones and Connelly use Attica as a touchstone for a clear-eyed critique of what has gone wrong with America’s prison system over the last forty years.



Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Clarence B. Jones needs little introduction. As lawyer, advisor, draft speechwriter, and close personal friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jones's bona fides as a civil-rights advocate leave him uniquely qualified to write, forty years after it occurred, about the revolt of the incarcerated at New York's Attica prison. Plus, he was there. As the first half of Uprising ("Then") retells, Jones and a small group of kindred luminaries were specifically invited by the prisoners to Attica to represent their demands. His recollection of the four fateful days between the outbreak of the riot and its bloody conclusion includes an arresting play-by-play of his negotiation with the prisoners, during which--despite being their guest--his personal safety was by no means always ensured. The second half of this extended essay ("Now") is both equally enthralling and utterly different in tone and pace, if not purpose. A discussion of the deplorable worsening of the American penal system since Attica, it explores the capitalistic motivations that have driven the evolution of our increasingly privatized and profit-driven "corrections" industry, the racially motivated disparity of our laws, and the nearly complete elimination of rehabilitation as a goal in our "incarceration state," which--to quote Michele Alexander, as does Jones--"imprisons a larger percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid." As Jones argues with passion and clarity, "readers are instinctively gravitating toward something they subconsciously already know: that in the wake of the Emancipation Proclamation, we found a way to keep slavery alive." --Jason Kirk

Review

"A must read for anyone interested in our prison system and a great read for everyone interested in Social Justice, Negotiation, and the Sociology of Power."

Product Details

  • File Size: 281 KB
  • Print Length: 66 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Amalgamated (September 2, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005L393WW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,379 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So That is What Happened at Attica October 10, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was born in 1958. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to Attica when it happened, but before I read this book, it was half-remembered. I recall the state police in orange raincoats for identification about to storm the yard.

I did not know so many hostages were killed by the police. I did not know the state tried to cheat the families out of compensation. I was unclear of the role played by Governor Rockefeller. Now those news reports (and the little history I had read of the uprising) has come together.
All in all, this volume is a quick and painless way to fill in the gap of your knowledge. You know "Something happened;" this will tell you the story behind the Attica.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! September 8, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An excellent telling by a total insider of this incredibly compelling and complex historical event. I love the Kindle Single (Kingle? Is that a word?)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars About a prison riot April 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very short account of the tragic prisoner revolt in Attica. I read it because my childhood home was near Attica. It was disappointing in the lack of detail and research into prison systems and the characters involved. Basically an indictment of the governor and others who had little interest in doing anything except restoring control at any price.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag September 20, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There were some really high points to this Kindle Single, but there were also some big shortcomings as well. Jones played a first hand role in the events at Attica, asked by the leaders of the revolt to "mediate" and personally called New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller negotiate a peaceful resolution. Jones first hand account of his involvement and subsequent role in a commission investigating the tragedy makes for compelling reading. For me, this was the real strength of this Kindle Single. My main gripe with "Uprising" was the part that focused on post-Attica and Jones views on the "Incarceration State". I don't want to diminish his viewpoints and certainly don't disagree with him on many points. However, the sheer length of time to make his argument and provide ample evidence to support his viewpoints just can't be done in a Kindle Single. Maybe it is too much to expect Jones to fully explore such things in a work of this size, but some of his assertions and perspectives do need validation and context to be convinced of their merits. On the positive side, after reading "Uprising", I purchased "The New Jim Crow" to read a full length book on the issue of mass incarceration of African-American males. In spite of its flaws, "Uprising" is well worth the reading time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Why the brutality? March 27, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
So many issues to address, but bigotry still exists. The war on drugs is a waste of time and manpower. Time to rethink our philosophy about justice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The shame of Attica March 23, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A concise and very moving overview of the Attica rebellion and its relevance to the US policy of mass incarceration.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Anti climatic January 27, 2014
By Rick
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I chose a four star rating, because I was expecting more of a thrilling story from behind the prison walls. I guess it was what it was. The author explains how everything led up to why he was selected to negotiate for the prisoners. The actual time with the prisoners was relatively short before the governor pulled the negotiators, and ordered a slaughter, The author did reveal a lot about our prison systems, and why they don't really "rehabilitate" prisoners. Overall, it was a decent read. I do agree with the author that society doesn't really care about the people in our prison system. He did open up my thinking as to why there's a problem with the penal system.
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Format:Kindle Edition
This book has two very different parts, both of which I really liked. The first is a personal history of the Attica prison riot, which is a part of American history that was glossed over in my history classes. The story as told here is necessarily brief, but covers the main events well. The second part is an essay/opinion piece about the lessons we can draw from the riot, and what they tell us about our current prison system. This was a thought-provoking piece to read. As other reviewers have commented, the arguments could perhaps benefit from more space to explore them and document the supporting evidence, but I thought that this piece covered them well enough to make the authors' points.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for anyone with a social conscience!
More than a history of a horrifying event, this is a critique of our costly, flawed and counterproductive prison system.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Uprising
Very informative about the ideals of a nation that continues to pander exclusively to the rich and powerful. And the degrading way we treat our fellow man. Read more
Published 9 months ago by terry dingess
5.0 out of 5 stars good read!
I enjoyed this a lot. I am a fan of prison history and this fits that description. It does a good job of being objective and giving the facts.
Published 10 months ago by Marc Gritton
5.0 out of 5 stars What I did not know
I lived through this time in NYC, Much of what was occurring and the reasons for the happenings I missed because I was working and not paying much attention.
Published 11 months ago by Joan Griffin
4.0 out of 5 stars Very intriguing story!!!!!
I found this book very interesting in the fact that it gives you an inside look at the uprising in Attica and what led to it. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Smoke3564
4.0 out of 5 stars Uprising: Understanding Attica
Excellent description of the events and their pertinence to today's happenings. Clarence Jones explains why we need to be concerned about the treatment of prisoners, then and now.
Published 20 months ago by Littlebit
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Interesting -- The Personal Side of History
This was the first Kindle Single that I have downloaded. I wasn't really sure what I was going to get -- and I got a "real" book! Read more
Published on December 18, 2011 by MJB
5.0 out of 5 stars READ IT
Compelling, quick, and incredibly important read. The topic couldn't be more relevant, yet all too often we forget this important event in the history of demonstrations and... Read more
Published on October 13, 2011 by Faith McAuliffe
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