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Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prisons, Torture, and Empire
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Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prisons, Torture, and Empire

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  320 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Revelations about U.S policies and practices of torture and abuse have captured headlines ever since the breaking of the Abu Ghraib prison story in April 2004. Since then, a debate has raged regarding what is and what is not acceptable behavior for the world’s leading democracy. It is within this context that Angela Davis, one of America’s most remarkable political figures ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published October 4th 2005 by Seven Stories Press (first published October 1st 2005)
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Michael Strode
This small text is densely packed with Davis' insight into the history of social justice organization and mobilization, the injustice of the prison system, and the interweaving of that system with capitalism to create an exportable prison economy with both a profit and social repression incentive. It reads quickly as a conversation develops between Mendieta and Davis that displays his intense engagement with the subject of his interview.

There is a gem of an answer at the end of the interview whi
Natàlia Peris
May 01, 2016 Natàlia Peris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite, tfg
Tanto el libro como la edición son una auténtica maravilla. Lo he disfrutado desde la primera página.

En el libro no sólo se habla del complejo industrial-penitenciario y del abolicionismo penitenciario (y penal) desde una perspectiva antirracista, marxista y feminista que resulta una gozada, sino que se va mucho más allá y se analizan el propio sistema represivo y cuestiones como la guerra global contra el terrorismo o las formas y estrategias de lucha por la justicia social.

Angela Davis es tan
Jun 02, 2008 simon rated it liked it
this book is great if you've never read anything about prison abolition, the connection between US Foreign policy and the US prison system, or anything by angela davis. if you've read any of those things, it's like a nice pat on the back, reminding you that the things you believe in are real and important. i actually think the interviewer could have done a better job; or the questions could have been asked in a different way to gather better responses from davis, who is genius in a way that isn' ...more
Bob Anderson
Jan 11, 2017 Bob Anderson rated it really liked it
Angela Davis is an anti-prison activist, and this book-length interview has her explain how the fundamental notion of prisons as we currently have them is incompatible with democracy. She’s certainly one of the most prominent radicals on the subject around, and her views are well worth getting familiar with. This would be a good starting point for that.
Raven Rakia
Dec 17, 2016 Raven Rakia rated it liked it
A book by Angela Davis that was actually about Abolition Democracy would be nice. This one talks about it for a page and a half and then spends 100 pages talking about other things. Which is fine, but I wanted to see Davis expanding on what an Abolition Democracy would look like. I guess the interviewer could've asked better questions.
Nov 22, 2016 Jacquelyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: nook
Content alone gets 5 stars, but it was hard to follow in interview form. I suppose it was meant to remind me of classic philosophy, question-and-answer style, but it would have been easier to read in chapter form, and I got lost along the way.
Sep 21, 2016 DerekC rated it really liked it
A book to be revisited by sociology courses in the western hemisphere.
Spicy T AKA Mr. Tea
A wonderful read regarding abolition democracy, feminism, the prison industrial complex and the violence of the state. Davis does a great job of looking critically at these political, social, and cultural constructs and their intersections and overlaps. A quick and incisive read.

Update June 2016: I re-read this in June and was really inspired by her writing and analysis. The anti-police brutality work I am engaged in in Rochester, NY is looking at abolition of the Prison Industrial Complex as a
Je trouve qu'Angela Davis est une figure fascinante. Mais c'est probablement pas ce livre-ci que j'aurais dû lire.

Ce à quoi on a droit ici, ce sont quatre entretiens (je crois? ma copie est déjà de retour à la bibliothèque) où Davis répond à toute une panoplie de questions qui couvrent, parfois un peu superficiellement, son parcours militant, sa critique du système carcéral américain, le racisme & l'exclusion sociale, l'utilisation de la torture à Guantanamo & à Abou Ghraïb, les contradi
Matthew Gilboy
Jan 31, 2015 Matthew Gilboy rated it really liked it
Thus book is a series of interviews and provides a way of understanding how to think through the interrelated structures of the prison and military industrial complexes. Ms. Davis' responses he'll to expose the many ways in which critical thought about society has been undermined by contemporary manner of speaking about issues. She also provides an insightful analysis into the limitations of organizing around identity and instead offers places/points of struggle as better grounds for organizing ...more
May 02, 2014 Analleli rated it really liked it
I definitely agree that in order to truly understand what Davis means by "Abolition Democracy," this book is not enough and I recommend reading Are Prisons Obsolete? first. The interviewer's questions could have been better and the book itself could of been structured more efficiently. It almost seems like she just put this together and did not think about it much. Still, I enjoyed Davis as I always do.
Oct 10, 2012 Nativeabuse rated it it was ok
I keep picking up Angela Davis books to try and get information on her communist ideas and on the ideas of the Black Panthers. and all I keep finding is her writing about prisons?

It seems like prisons are all she ever talks about, her autobiography for instance starts off with her getting thrown in prison, and continues through her legal processes.

This was an ok interview, but I wish she would talk about things besides prisons?
Samuel Cooper
Aug 05, 2015 Samuel Cooper rated it it was amazing
Like many of the other reviews stated, this book was brief, obviously, but it was definitely packed full of information and opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at the mass incarceration of minorities aka the Prison Industrial Complex, and it made me want to check out a lot more of her work and look into many of the issues she raised more fully. I'd definitely recommend it as an introductory book to kind of whet your appetite for the topic and the author.
Sivananthi T
Nov 18, 2015 Sivananthi T rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting read if you are keen on the concept of substantive equality among the races, and substantive democracy which would encompass rights beyond the norms such as voting etc.
This provides a good critique of the prison industrial complex as the offspring of the military industrial complex.
Mar 08, 2008 Stina rated it liked it
I was a little disappointed in this book. Lots of good ideas, but it was too superficial. It is a collection of interviews, and Davis' insights into the prison industrial complex aren't developed much. I recommend "Are Prisons Obsolete?" instead.
Dec 08, 2012 Katie rated it it was amazing
This book should be required reading for anyone who can read and think. I'm just excited that I read a whole book. I'd like to thank her, the interviewer, and everyone else who has already read it. :)
Feb 21, 2009 Milo rated it liked it
Shelves: think-tank
Some of her theories were pretty cool, but it has a difficult time standing on its own. I think "Are Prisons Obsolete?" needs to be read before this. And you probably should know some of the author's background if you're a generation behind (such as myself). It helps.
Nov 23, 2007 Bart rated it really liked it
In four interviews, Angela Davis provides an interesting framework to examine the prison-industrial complex. She challenges prison abolitionists to re-frame arguments against the prison system, such as defining cavity searches as sexual assault.
Angela Davis is coming to Denver next week, so I thought I'd read up on her. Too bad I didn't finish the book. Guess I'll just have to have dinner with her on Friday instead! ;)
Jul 29, 2016 Marina rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this! She has an awe-inspiring voice and writes in a very direct and interesting way.
Jan 06, 2008 Mike rated it really liked it
this book was really good! she's right on point that the death penalty and prisons are teh legacies of slavery.
Jan 13, 2012 Rich rated it really liked it
Took me a while to get used to the Question/Answer format but the brilliance of Angela Davis makes up for the awkward and learn.
Jan 08, 2016 Polett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
Small but intensely dense information about prison system, racism and torture. Definitely worth a second read to understand concepts further
Ever Rucker
Ever Rucker rated it really liked it
May 20, 2016
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Jun 17, 2015
Krupa rated it really liked it
Jun 04, 2012
Hjalte Lagercrantz
Hjalte Lagercrantz rated it really liked it
Mar 15, 2016
Anetta Lancaster
Anetta Lancaster rated it really liked it
Sep 15, 2014
Aaron rated it it was ok
Apr 15, 2015
Dlh0906 rated it it was amazing
Apr 15, 2012
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Angela Yvonne Davis is an American political activist, scholar, and author. She emerged as a nationally prominent activist and radical in the 1960s, as a leader of the Communist Party USA, and had close relations with the Black Panther Party through her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement despite never being an official member of the party. Prisoner rights have been among her continuing inter ...more
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