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Prison Nation - 2003, Jan. 1, 2003.
Book Review - Prison Nation - 2003

Posted on Alternet

Summer Reading for the Activist in You

By Geov Parrish, Posted May 12, 2003.

[Excerpt from compilation review]

Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America's Poor" is hard for me to review with total objectivity, because of its two editors; I've edited the writing of one, Tara Herivel, and corresponded for years with the other, the invaluable Prison Legal News co-publisher (and lifer Washington state inmate) Paul Wright. So take my somewhat slanted word for it: "Prison Nation" is chock-full of outstanding essays, by authors you'll know and authors you'll want to know, that span the range of prison issues and activism. It's as good an overview of Gulag America as has come out since, well, Wright's "The Celling of America, with the difference that in the years since "Celling" prison populations have continued to increase (despite dropping crime rates), civil liberties have continued to be trashed, and, with the budget crises and social safety net destruction afoot in all 50 states, the nature of America's prisons as a vicious form of class warfare has never been clearer. The enemy has been winning on all fronts, usually away from the public's view. "Prison Nation" is the welcome corrective, the spotlight on the shadows, the glimpse -- if we don't get busy -- into all of our futures.