Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prisons, Torture, and Empire” as Want to Read:
Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prisons, Torture, and Empire
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prisons, Torture, and Empire

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  423 Ratings  ·  36 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Abolition Democracy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Abolition Democracy

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Angela Davis sendo Angela Davis. O formato de entrevista torna a leitura mais rápida e clara. Há alguns erros de tradução que podem comprometer o entendimento de quem não conhece bem a política criminal norte-americana, mas, em geral, o livro é excelente.
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
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tfg, favourite
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 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
Noah Hertz
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked this up from the library to try and get a little bit of Angela Davis digested before I saw her speak on the 16th and while I did get sidetracked and ended up finishing it the day after I saw Professor Davis speak, I'm still happy I picked this up. Ironically, the book ended up functioning pretty well as an accompaniment to the talk that I saw. Angela Davis has led a really amazing life and she uses that amazing experience to fuel some really interesting talking points in this book. If I ...more
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Questo libro raccoglie il saggio di Angela Davis Il carcere è obsoleto? e una serie di interviste sulle prigioni, il femminismo, la tortura, la guerra. Il saggio sul carcere traccia anche la storia di questa istituzione negli Stati Uniti e assieme alle interviste forma un libro interessantissimo. Il linguaggio di Angela Davis è sempre chiaro, diretto e affronta le varie questioni che solleva con concretezza e lucidità. Non si limita a fornire risposte ma anzi ci pone molte domande e spunti di ri ...more
Zach Be
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As an entrance into learning about the prison industrial system, this book is a great at giving you digestible material that helps you create your own ideas.

I would recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about the oppression system of the US.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Angela Davis is great at removing the veil that obscures current political discourse.
Lindsay King-Miller
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This probably wouldn't be the best place to start if you've never read any Angela Davis. For readers who are already familiar with her stance on prison abolition, this is a great addition to the conversation, expanding her analysis of the prison industrial complex in the context of the "war on terror."
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 14, 2015 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
Apr 27, 2014 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 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
Feb 22, 2015 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 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.
Bob Anderson
Jan 11, 2017 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.
Nov 22, 2016 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.
Mar 08, 2008 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.
Sep 26, 2011 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 14, 2009 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 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.
May 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: social-justice
Re-reading this book
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! ;)
Mar 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
These are interviews so there isn't much analysis. It's a good, quick read.
Jan 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
timely and important.
Michael Greer
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of the most intelligent minds i have ever encountered.
Jul 29, 2016 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 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.
Dec 25, 2011 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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Abolition Now!: Ten Years of Strategy and Struggle Against the Prison Industrial Complex
  • Global Lockdown: Race, Gender, and the Prison-Industrial Complex
  • Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women
  • Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis
  • Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California
  • The House That Race Built: Original Essays by Toni Morrison, Angela Y. Davis, Cornel West, and Others on Black Americans and Politics in America Today
  • Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America
  • Black, Brown, Yellow, and Left: Radical Activism in Los Angeles
  • Punishment and Inequality in America
  • Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale: Women in the International Division of Labour
  • Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex
  • Color of Violence: The INCITE! Anthology
  • How Nonviolence Protects the State
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex
  • The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities
  • Pacifism as Pathology: Reflections on the Role of Armed Struggle in North America
  • Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America's Poor
  • Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson
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
“Communities are always political projects, political projects that can never solely rely on identity.” 2 likes
“This movement was something so extraordinary, not only because it saved my life—and that was a major accomplishment—but also because it demonstrated that change was possible as a result of organized, mass pressure.” 0 likes
More quotes…