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Live from Death Row
 
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Mumia Abu-Jamal
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Live from Death Row

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  1,105 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Here for the first time are the prison writings of Abu-Jamal--including the censored commentaries from NPR--an unflinching account of the brutalities, humiliations and actrocities of prison life. Articulate and compelling, the work is certain to fuel the controversy surrounding capital punishment and freedom of speech.
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published 2000 by Voyager (first published 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,210)
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TJ Shelby
I was recommended this book by a friend thinking that it would sway my stance on capital punishment. I am in a small majority of social liberals who support capital punishment. Mumia aptly points out major corruption in nearly every aspect of our criminal justice system, local police, correctional officers, district attornies, and judges. He also demonstrates the propensity for discrimination against blacks and backs it up with solid statistics and facts.

One of the most damning is how much more
...more
Jennifer
Read it! Then act on it. Due to a recent Supreme Court reject of the case, he might not be "live" much longer. Write a letter to President Obama, ask for his executive clemency! If you need help writing that letter, send me a mail and I will send you a letter to draw from.
Donna
Mumia is a former Black Panther. The facts support his having been framed in the murder of the cop, a crime for which he was nearly executed.

Live from Death Row, written before his sentence was commuted, is not, however, a vehicle he uses to advocate for himself or plead his own case to the public. He has written other books I haven't read, and I don't know if he did that there.

Instead, here he uses his own situation to discuss the racism inherent both in the U.S. court system; he also talks abo
...more
Jake
Pick it up, read it, decide what action you feel you need to take. Political prisoners are nothing new, but in the time of Facebook, Goodreads, Blogs and more, we all have a outlet for our political views. Challenge anything that you feel to be unjust.
Andrew Duenez
Mumia describes the significance of the "correctional" system we have here in the US. From this book, among other mediums, I have learned that the US is becoming a prison country. The face of that prison system is blacker than any other aspect of American life. In some states where the african am. population is but a quarter, the prison is made up of over 50% of black life. it's pretty crazy that we just accept it all. I mean "they" distract us with so many things that we don't have time to thin ...more
Courtney Henley-Anderson
This book changed my Life literally. I read it and it called me to action. Mumia is an innocent political prisoner and I have worked as an Activist on his case for 11 years now. His writings about the horrible conditions on the Death Rows of American Gulags is both insightful and vital. Although incarcerated in a room the size of a tiny bathroom for almost 14 years at the time he wrote this book, Mumia turned the story of his and the other prisoners plights into sheer poetry. Another must read!
Brad
Yeah, he's biased. I'd be biased as hell. I'd want to bias someone in the face.
Adam
As if there's something I could possibly say to highlight Mumia's powerful words that he doesn't say himself. . .

In lieu of extracting quotes from this book, as I normally do with my readings, I simply have set the entire piece aside in my head as worth rehashing, rereading, and keeping on the tip of my tongue an forefront of my thoughts.

Life from Death Row is a compilation of essays from long-time death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. As a professional reporter, Mumia made a career of presenting
...more
Eva Leger
May 09, 2010 Eva Leger rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one from the little bit that I read
Recommended to Eva by: this was another winner of my own doing
This was a mistake for me to have picked up. I know next to nothing about this man or this case but was/am interested in learning more. Being that I don't know a lot about this I can't come to a conclusion on whether I think he's innocent or guilty and whether or not I think the trial was biased.
I'm inclined to assume he's guilty. Most people convicted are guilty. He may be one of the few with mitigating circumstances, I don't know. But the little of this book that I read was someone crying abo
...more
Jude Arnold
A Case for Reasonable Doubt a DVD of the 60 Minutes show about Mumia's case. (A really good film!)


I've been getting most of my info from 2 organizations working to Free Mumia:

Refuse & Resist! and Partisan Defense Committee. My understanding of what Mumia really wants most is to get out of jail.

The organizations say the only way to accomplish this is by drawing International Media attention to the issues of his case.

I spoke to a woman this summer from Philadelphia who said; "They will never
...more
C.S.
Always passionate, sometimes profound. Always angry, as he should be. It's hard to rate or review this book because it's too many things, memoir, history, diatribe. As I read it, I started wishing that someone had arranged the essays by date, since they go back as far as 1989. Now that I've finished it, I think it would be valuable to divide it into sections so that related essays are grouped together. There's an enormous amount here that people should read, but they will, of course, judge by th ...more
Zack
I read the book "Life on Death Row", I really liked this book because it viewed more then one persons case and how they waited for death and survived until their due date. I liked that this book was very graphic and got intense and I liked that because it kept me reading. I liked that it stated facts and on the bottom of every page showed where they got the info. Also, at the end of the book the author even talked about his own experience on death row. Something's I didn't like about the book w ...more
Sonya
I read this and college and went back and re-read- this book is phenomenal. I know that people are torn as to whether Mr. Mumia Abu-Jamal is guilty or not, but I just became enthralled in his story and journey and what his life is like and it is really interesting. No matter where you stand on the death penalty in my opinion when you have someone this articulate, who seems to be non- violent now; it should at least give you pause as to whether the system works. No matter what you believe about t ...more
Tiana Brawley
Political Prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal provides intense insight, research, personal accounts and nostalgia to one of the most oppressive institutions to the 20th and 21st century: prison. He provides countless research and documentation of the brutality and horror for black prisoners and the unjust racial system which funds the black-prison complex. Mumia paints a picture of life and conversations in these hell-holes so vividly you can't help but create your own horrific scenes. He challenges reader ...more
molly
This book is one of the books that I find myself constantly going back to and picking up, either looking through particular parts that I find special or just going back and re-reading semi-random sections. I struggle with simply calling it "amazing" or "life-altering" b/c not only would those be understatements in my opinion, but I think they in some ways diminish the strength of Mumia's voice and wisdom...

No matter your interest/liking, I do think this book will challenge most people and reaff
...more
Mike Da Silva
I'll admit, my first response to this book was, "Gee, another wrongly convicted innocent. Aren't they all." After reading his book and researching many of the footnotes and links listed in the book, I can't believe how wrong I was. Not just for him, but I really felt for all inmates on death row, denied basic interaction with their loved ones. This book is recommended for any one with an open mind, a thirst for truth and justice, and any one with one ioata of compassion for their fellow human.
Elizabeth
This is a very quick read with a large number of short and impactful stories throughout the book. However, as someone who was not very familiar with the story of Mumia's court proceedings, I found the very end of the book the most interesting. The insane injustice in his case is infuriating. I think it is essential that everyone get their hands on this book to get a taste of what the criminal justice system can really be like — it is often anything but just.
Zack
HEY! This book is really fucking good and important to read. It's kind of a journal of a person on death row who most certainly did not receive anything near a fair trail...if that's even possible in our society. He's an ex-black panther and he's in prison largely for political reasons. Really smart and really sad and really powerful. Read it. Recently he got taken off of death row (after 30 years!) and he is sentenced to life without parole.
Mo
This is one of those books that just makes me so angry that I can barely see straight...one of those I-want-to-riot-in-the-street books. I read this immediately after reading Newjack (which I read after reading the prison memior Life On The Outside) and they all just distressed me to no end, but in different ways. I cannot believe that our country is basically becoming one big supermax prison.
Douglas
The essays are very well written. NPR decided not to air these reports at the last minute due to outside pressure. He gives us a look at a part of life most of us hope we will never know firsthand. I did not come away from the book feeling like the author made a good case for his innocence. If he did not commit the murder he is in prison for, he likely knows who did.
Tanzania Jimmerson
This book was very interesting. It justified the reason why I do not agree with the death penalty. African- Americans, my people, are the ones who are getting affected by the death penalty which is unfair. I believe after reading this book, things should change in the United States criminal justice system. People of color is not getting the justice they deserve.
Veronica
Jan 06, 2008 Veronica rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who understand the manipulations in our legal system
Recommended to Veronica by: Shannin
A real look at the insanity that is our justice and prison system. Definitely makes you question the way our country is run from the laws it makes as well as the hypocritically way they break them. I'm sympathetic to the stories of these prisoners because I know from experience how the system is whacked out... it's even worse for those on Death Row.
Seanmallory
This book is a little more telling of the criminal justice system, a little more revealing of the injustices therein, and a little less political than Abu-Jamal's later publication "Death Blossoms". I enjoyed it very much and am still in awe of the way creativity meanders seamlessly into factual recounts throughout the book.
Jack
Abu-Jamal's a good writer, but considering the subject matter, this book feels strangely impersonal. His points about race, crime, and the criminal justice system in American are very important, but not, at least to me, earth shattering or mind blowing. Still, it's very eloquent, and effective at what it's trying to do.
Ryan
Jul 16, 2007 Ryan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys some dirt on the prison/justice system
this book was pretty damn good. it's basically a set of journal entries written by mumia abu-jamal. some of it seems to me to be pure trash-talking, which is cool in itself. but most of the time it's a beautiful, passionately written account of race-based brutality in america's systems of justice and corrections.
Tatum Little
Mumia is an absolutely amazing writter. He's known for being on death row but the journalism that got him there is so often overlooked. The books is passionately written and it's very understated. He's not pointing a finger, but moreso showing how the prison system is. How can you argue with the truth?
Stephanie
This book was required reading for my Global & Transnational Literature class at the University of Utah.

This was my least favorite of the texts that we read. Abu-Jamal is obviously very educated, and has diligently researched court cases and examples of injustice in the US court system. However, I found his language to be stiff, and difficult to read. The presence of such heavy legal jargon made his memoir feel like a textbook. Most of our texts have focused on life in prison, which I have f
...more
P_panther
Great book with a lot of insight. Opened my mind to a lot of new ideas and most importantly connected me to Mumia Abu-Jamal. Such a great man and an amazing journey he has taken. I do hope he is released from jail.
Charles
This man is an excellent writer who has endured a horrific experience. To be able to articulate one's own tragedy is truly a blessing. However, for Mumia, this great gift may have been the cause of his grief.
Emusam
Powerful set of writings and points to horrifying wrongs committed by "the system" here. Previous references to him by Rage Against the Machine and Immortal Technique now make sense.
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