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American Furies: Crime, Punishment, and Vengeance in the Age of Mass Imprisonment
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American Furies: Crime, Punishment, and Vengeance in the Age of Mass Imprisonment

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  45 ratings  ·  7 reviews
In this dramatic expose of U.S. penitentiaries and the communities around them, Sasha Abramsky finds that prisons have dumped their age-old goal of rehabilitation, often for political reasons. The new "ideal," unknown to most Americans, is a punitive mandate marked by a drive toward vengeance.
Surveying this state of affairs--life sentences for nonviolent crimes, appalling
Hardcover, 213 pages
Published May 2nd 2007 by Beacon Press (MA) (first published April 1st 2007)
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Good documentation of the criminal justice system in the U.S., especially over the past 30 or so years. Lays out plenty of evidence showing that the war on drugs, mandatory minimums, and tough-on-crime posturing has got to go. We need to return to a focus on rehabilitation if we want to reduce recidivism rates, if we want to be a decent society. Packed full of anecdotes and stats. In all, a well-researched case for changing criminal justice in the U.S.
I was lucky enough to complete an English Composition course at UC Davis taught by Sasha Abramsky. All I can say is that he was an amazing professor and I learned a lot from him. In "American Furies" he thoroughly yet concisely examines the past, present, and future of the prison system in the US. This book forces us to take a look in the mirror and see yet another aspect of our country which is headed in a very disturbing direction.
Here's a good, thought provoking book. I had never really thought about prisons and inmates - "send them all to prison!" was my thought. But after reading this book, it gave me a lot to think about.

Are locking people up the best way of rehabilitating them? While I do believe some people should be locked up and the key thrown, there are those who could be rehabilitated and could live productive lives in society. What can be done about it? What's the answer?
Chris Pederson
The more I learn about the US 'justice' system the more I have come to realize how truly barbaric it is. Who cares about justice and rehabilitation when you can have utter vengeance? Never mind that our system is completely racist, classist, and not grounded in what actually works but a race to the bottom to be 'hard on crime'.
If you know anything about criminal justice and prison conditions, this book is probably nothing new for you, but it's a well-written synopsis of the awful state of corrections in the US.
Silja J.A.
This is an ESSENTIAL read for anyone looking to grasp the why's and how's of the evolution of our criminal justice system. Abramsky's best work.

Nothing new if you're at all familiar with the topic, but a good primer for those who are not.
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Sasha Abramsky studied politics, philosophy, and economics at Oxford University. He is now a freelance journalist and senior fellow at Demos who reports on political personalities and cultural trends.

His work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, The Nation, The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Guardian, and Mother Jones, among other publications.

He live
More about Sasha Abramsky...
The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives Breadline USA: The Hidden Scandal of American Hunger and How to Fix It Inside Obama's Brain Conned: How Millions Went to Prison, Lost the Vote, And Helped Send George W. Bush to the White House Hard Time Blues: How Politics Built a Prison Nation

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