Imprisoned Intellectuals: America's Political Prisoners Write on Life, Liberation, and Rebellion - Transformative Politics Series, ed. Joy James (Paperback)
  • Imprisoned Intellectuals: America's Political Prisoners Write on Life, Liberation, and Rebellion - Transformative Politics Series, ed. Joy James (Paperback)
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Imprisoned Intellectuals: America's Political Prisoners Write on Life, Liberation, and Rebellion - Transformative Politics Series, ed. Joy James (Paperback)

(editor)
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Paperback 392 Pages / Published: 04/03/2003
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Prisons constitute one of the most controversial and contested sites in a democratic society. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the industrialized world, with over 2 million people in jails, prisons, and detention centers; with over three thousand on death row, it is also one of the few developed countries that continues to deploy the death penalty. International Human Rights Organizations such as Amnesty International have also noted the scores of political prisoners in U.S. detention. This anthology examines a class of intellectuals whose analyses of U.S. society, politics, culture, and social justice are rarely referenced in conventional political speech or academic discourse. Yet this body of outlawed 'public intellectuals' offers some of the most incisive analyses of our society and shared humanity. Here former and current U.S. political prisoners and activists-writers from the civil rights/black power, women's, gay/lesbian, American Indian, Puerto Rican Independence and anti-war movements share varying progressive critiques and theories on radical democracy and revolutionary struggle. This rarely-referenced 'resistance literature' reflects the growing public interest in incarceration sites, intellectual and political dissent for social justice, and the possibilities of democratic transformations. Such anthologies also spark new discussions and debates about 'reading'; for as Barbara Harlow notes: 'Reading prison writing must. . . demand a correspondingly activist counterapproach to that of passivity, aesthetic gratification, and the pleasures of consumption that are traditionally sanctioned by the academic disciplining of literature.'-Barbara Harlow [1] 1. Barbara Harlow, Barred: Women, Writing, and Political Detention (New England: Wesleyan University Press, 1992). Royalties are reserved for educational initiatives on human rights and U.S. incarceration.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742520271
Number of pages: 392
Weight: 508 g
Dimensions: 230 x 145 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
The notion of 'political prisoners' is not widely accepted in the United States, and yet this country has had them. This extraordinary collection brings us their voices, their ideas, which have been muffled too long. These writers see American society with an acute understanding that people on the outside have a hard time matching. -- Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States and professor emeritus of Political Science, Boston University
The Jail is meant to be Cavernous, Bestial, Silence. Still the voices of imprisoned intellectuals leak out. Joy James' excellent volume demands our involvement in the struggle. -- Vijay Prashad, George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies, Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut
An important collection. In these troubling times it is more important than ever to discover the subversive intellectualism of the incarcerated. -- Zillah Eisenstein
A unique and very significant contribution. -- Bettina Aptheker, University of California, Santa Cruz
A superb collection-both instructive and inspiring. Joy James is to be complimented for this book and for her thoughtful introductory essay. -- Dennis Brutus, poet and former political prisoner of South African Apartheid
In this extraordinary volume, James brings together the powerful voices of prison resistance, past and present, providing the intellectual foundations for a comparative approach to our understanding of criminal justice as a tool for political repression. Imprisoned Intellectuals creates a critical scholarly resource for interpreting criminal justice and its impact on race, gender, and class hierarchies of power. -- Manning Marable, M. Moran Weston/Black Alumni Council Professor of African-American Studies, Columbia University
A bracing, poignant, and finally edifying colloquy of voices whose power and eloquence speak nobly against the forces that unfairly imprison them. As this book makes clear, men and women unjustly imprisoned by the state may ultimately hold the key to our moral freedom through their courageous witness and brilliant analysis. In a society hell-bent on locking up some of its greatest citizens, Imprisoned Intellectuals is an inspiring intervention in a conversation that is critical to our very survival. -- Michael Eric Dyson, author of Open Mike: Reflections on Philosophy, Race, Sex, Culture, and Religion
The voices in Imprisoned Intellectuals tear apart common assumptions about the impossibility of resistance and survival. * San Francisco Bay Guardian Literary Supplement *
James's book reminds the reader about the preciousness and tenuousness of freedom and liberty ... -- James E. Smith, University of Wyoming

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