Staff Pick

A journalist with Mother Jones, Shane Bauer spent four months working undercover as a corrections officer in a prison in Louisiana run by a private corporation. In American Prison, he recounts his experience, extensively documenting abuse and inattention by guards, suffering by inmates, and appalling profiteering by the Corrections Corporation of America. Chapters detailing what Bauer saw and heard at Winn Correctional Center alternate with chapters on the rise of CAA, the nation’s first private prison company, and the larger history of for-profit prisons in America, a system that, in the South especially, effectively exploited a force of African-American labor in the aftermath of slavery. Thanks to the recent surge in immigrant detention, privately run incarceration centers are thriving, but Bauer’s book suggests they’re no way to keep prisoners. 

American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780735223585
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Press - September 18th, 2018

Staff Pick

David Cole's The Engines of Liberty is a must read in today’s political climate. In his book he outlines three movements (gay rights, gun rights, and human rights during wartime) and shows how people and civil societies were able to effect real change in the rarified arena of constitutional law. Even when the odds were as long as the road ahead it was the people—organizing, being creative, and staying the course—who were able to bring about change once thought impossible. Read this book and learn the tools and tactics of the best citizen activists.

Engines of Liberty: The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law Cover Image
ISBN: 9780465060900
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Basic Books - March 29th, 2016

Engines of Liberty: How Citizen Movements Succeed Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781541616578
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Basic Books - October 3rd, 2017

Staff Pick

The kidnapping of Patty Hearst by an obscure group of self-styled, violent revolutionaries calling themselves the Symbionese Liberation Army became one of the defining events of the 1970s. Unfolding live on nationwide TV, it riveted viewers for months as Hearst, a granddaughter of famed publisher William Randolph Hearst, appeared to side with her captors, posed as a machine-gun toting Tania—her nom the guerre—joined in robberies, and conspired to set off bombs. Arrested after nineteen months and charged with robbery, Hearst argued that her actions had been coerced. But she was convicted and sentenced to seven years, only to be released by Jimmy Carter after twenty-two months and ultimately pardoned by Bill Clinton. She married, wrote a memoir, and went on to lead a life of comfort and privilege. But in American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst (Doubleday, $28.95), legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin brings new information and insight to what we thought we knew about this extraordinary story and to the central question of whether Hearst was a brainwashed victim or a willing participant in the SLA’s crimes.

American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780385536714
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - August 2nd, 2016

American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780345803153
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Anchor - April 4th, 2017

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