Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Are Prisons Obsolete? Uitgawe and Revised and Updated to Include New Develop and B Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1583225813
ISBN-10: 1583225811
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy new
$11.35
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
61 New from $5.41
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Are Prisons Obsolete? has been added to your Cart
More Buying Choices
61 New from $5.41 52 Used from $6.16
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Get a FREE Amazon Echo with homework help
Choose from 40+ subjects with online tutors from The Princeton Review. Learn more
$11.35 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Are Prisons Obsolete?
  • +
  • Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement
  • +
  • The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Total price: $34.99
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

"In this brilliant, thoroughly researched book, Angela Davis swings a wrecking ball into the racist and sexist underpinnings of the American prison system. Her arguments are well wrought and restrained, leveling an unflinching critique of how and why more than 2 million Americans are presently behind bars, and the corporations who profit from their suffering. Davis explores the biases that criminalize communities of color, politically disenfranchising huge chunks of minority voters in the process. Uncompromising in her vision, Davis calls not merely for prison reform, but for nothing short of 'new terrains of justice.' Another invaluable work in the Open Media Series by one of America's last truly fearless public intellectuals." Cynthia McKinney, former Congresswoman from Georgia

About the Author

Over the last forty-odd years, ANGELA YVONNE DAVIS has been active in numerous organizations challenging prison-related repression. Born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1944, Davis studied at Brandeis University, the Sorbonne, and with Herbert Marcuse at the Goethe Institute. Her advocacy on behalf of political prisoners, and her alleged connection to the Marin County courthouse incident, led to three capital charges, sixteen months in jail awaiting trial, and a highly publicized acquittal in 1972. In 1998, Davis was one of the twenty-five organizers of the historic Berkeley, California conference “Critical Resistance: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex.” She is the author of many books, including Are Prisons Obsolete? and The Meaning of Freedom. She currently teaches in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Open Media Series
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press; Uitgawe and Revised and Updated to Include New Develop and B edition (April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583225811
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583225813
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Suza Francina on January 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
It is almost too much for the human mind to fully comprehend that there are more than 2 million people--a group larger than the population of many countries-- presently behind bars in America. While serving as an elected official, I was given an extensive "tour" of one of the local prisons. I tried not to show the horror -and sorrow- I felt at the sight of so many human beings locked away in high tech cages, for fear my "tour" would be cut short.
This thoroughly researched book by Angela Davis articulates everything I instinctively felt when I got a first hand glimpse of prison life. With the patience and restraint of a Saint, Angela Davis challenges thinking people to face the human rights catastrophe in our jails and prisons.
It is the authors hope that this book will encourage readers to question their own assumptions about prison. It is my hope that this book will be widely read by everyone involved in the field of education and politics. It should be on the recommended reading list of all high schools, colleges and universities.
Suza Francina, former Mayor, Ojai, California, and author, The New Yoga for People Over 50.
6 Comments 76 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Following the over throw of reconstruction, the re-empowered white ruling class in the South needed a large pool of cheap labor. The Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery, contained one glaring exception--slavery was still completely legal for those who had been convicted of a crime. Suddenly, new legislation was enacted which criminalized a wide variety of behaviors not previously considered criminal--having no job, vagrancy, no visible means of support, etc.
Once these "Black Codes" were in place, prisons in the South were rapidly filled with Blacks. Prior to the Civil War, prisoners in the South were overwhelmingly White. After Reconstruction, they were overwhelmingly Black.
These new prisoners were "leased" to White plantation owners, at a flat fee. With no capital invested in these new slaves, many were simply worked to death. The economic incentive to ensure that the prisons were full was inescapable.
In this short, but powerful, book, Angela Davis makes the case that this pattern of incarcerating Blacks, set during the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, carries through to the present. Today the economics of incarceration are more subtle. Money is not primarily made through the labor of prisoners (although that still happens). Today, the real money is made by the underwriters who sell the bonds to finance prison construction, the myriad of industries which supply the country's 2 million prisoners with everything from soap to light bulbs, and by rural America, where the last three decades of de-industrialization has left prison as one of the very few decent paying union jobs available to formerly blue collar workers.
Ms.
Read more ›
5 Comments 43 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This book, while providing historical context, is not overly academic and is very readable. Davis presents some startling facts about the prison as a replacement for the plantation and about the intrinsic racism of capital punishment.

The division between prison reform and prison abolition is an artificial one that need not slow the progress of either prison reform or the development of abolitionist theory. I've heard Davis speak on the subject as well. She emphasizes the need to both insist that correctional institutions be reformed AND to acknowledge that there is no "just" way to incarcerate people at the rate that the US currently does.

Read this book to expand you field of vision about the alternatives to the current criminal justice system and to place these issues in historical context.
Comment 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This may just be the way I approach prison issues, but I believe that the current crisis in U.S. prisons -- overincarceration, privitization, horrific health problems, racism, inadequate educational programs -- do not necessarily need a wide historical analysis to call attention to themselves. I am, like Davis, a socialist, but I think the mess that is the prison industrial complex can be described in a way that will make liberals, not just radicals, agree that the system needs to change right away -- and I think that this is more important than focusing on the more abstract idea of prison abolition. When I heard her speak at a prisoner conference last year, she focused on the difference between being a prison reformer and a prison abolitionist: a difference that is addressed in this work. This book as a whole is an argument for prison abolition. But prison reform is more urgent, and more possible. I find it hard to focus on her arguments as a result.

I recommend to people interested in an intro to contemporary prison issues Christian Parenti's book Lockdown America -- he is as angry as Davis, but his book provides more statistical and descriptive evidence than she does as to why you should be angry as well. Articles written by prisoners themselves are collected in the 1998 collection The Celling of America ed by Daniel Burton-Rose and 2003's Prison Nation ed by T. Herivel and P. Wright. (Note that Prison Nation includes articles written by non-prisoners as well.)

Prison activists and those who are currently reading into the american prison system should read Davis' book, but I urge those looking for an introduction not to start here.
2 Comments 57 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Are Prisons Obsolete?
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Are Prisons Obsolete?

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: criminal procedure