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Walls and Bars: Prisons and Prison Life in the Land of the Free

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4.12  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Few are aware that Eugene Debs (1855-1927), the best loved socialist agitator of his time, wrote one of the most insightful books on prisons. Debs's only full-length book, WALLS & BARS is a lively memoir as well as a stirring critique, drawing on his own prison experiences. ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published January 28th 2000 by Charles H. Kerr Publishing Co. (Chicago) (first published 1927)
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Erik Graff
Apr 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Americans
Recommended to Erik by: A.M.
This book was purchased as a gift for me at the Heartland Cafe store in the East Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago's north side. The Heartland, operated by Michael James and Katie Hogan, is a little bit of San Francisco in the Midwest, their store offering an ever-changing variety of products from around the world, including progressive books and magazines.

Eugene Victor Debs was, with Norman Thomas a generation later, the persona of American socialism. A founding member both of the Socialist P
...more
Nate
Feb 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Criminologists, sociologists, social justice advocates, history buffs, nonviolent protestors
Recommended to Nate by: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Shelves: classics, history
Walls and Bars is a memoir and commentary written by Eugene V. Debs after his release from federal prison. For violating the Espionage Act during World War I for making a speech denouncing the Great War and the atrocities it commits, Debs was sentenced to serve a 10-year stint in federal prison, which he served a short portion of it in West Virginia before serving the bulk of his sentence in Atlanta. This book chronicles his time in these facilities, and, in small part, time he spent in other co ...more
Marv
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Jeremy Bentham for theory of incarceration int the use of the Panopticon. Foucault for theory and history of discipline and punishment. 'Walls & Bars' by Debs for the results of the evolution to the worlds greatest and largest prison industry. A timeless work on the absurdity of the prison system in the United States. ...more
Braden Domier
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've ever read. A strong moral argument - should be required reading in America. ...more
Beth Campbell- adams
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this as part of some research for a book I'm planning to write. It's an excellent book for anyone interested in prison reform. What's amazing to me is that although this book was written nearly a hundred years ago, practically everything he says about the prison system still holds true today. ...more
Tom
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read the original 1920s edition and therefore missed Dellinger's introduction which I am sure is apt. ...more
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Eugene Victor Debs was an American union leader, a founding member of the International Labor Union & the Industrial Workers of the World, as well as candidate for President as a member of the Social Democratic Party in 1900.

In 1855, labor leader, reformer and socialist Eugene V. Debs was born in Terre Haute, Ind. He was not baptized by his formerly Catholic mother. The family living room containe
...more

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