Item description for Walls and Bars by Eugene Debs...
Eugene Debs ran for President 5 times as the candidate of the Socialist Party of America. The last being in 1920 while he was in a fe3deral penitentiary. He received nearly 1,000,000 votes in that election. He had been convicted by a federal court in 1918 uder the wartime espionage law because he spoke out against the war in Europe. Throughout his life he had been a tireless political and labor activist and leader. This book is his story while in prison. It is a classic view of prisons by a great American during that time period. Eugene Debs is truly an American hero. He contracted an illiness while in prison and died in 1926. A Collector's Edition.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.75" Weight: 1.23 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2007
Publisher Synergy International of the Americas, Ltd
ISBN 1934568139 ISBN13 9781934568132
Availability 89 units. Availability accurate as of Jan 19, 2017 10:12.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Walls and Bars?
Shamefully relevant, even 80+ years later May 3, 2003
Written between World Wars One and Two, Eugene Debs details his experience in prison (first for defying a court injunction against a railway strike, and then for a speech opposing U.S. Involvement in WWI). Rather than devote the book to an asserition of his innocence (today, neither of his "crimes" exist, and the laws prohibiting his "criminal" actions have long been held unconstitutional), Debs uses his personal experiences to highlight the absurdities and brutality of prisons as they are operated in the U.S.
Despite the fact that this book describes prison life over 80 years ago, much of what Debs has to say remains fully applicable to U.S. prisons in 2003. We still lock up people who suffer from drug addiction, rather than offering them treatment; we still incarcerate young people for decades (far longer than when Debs wrote), and act surprised when they develope a "criminal mentality" after spending their entire adult lives in prison. The U.S. still incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than any other countyr in the world, and hands out longer sentences than almost any other country.
Most tellingly, the prison population still consists almost exclusively of the very poorest members of society. It is still rare to find a weealthy man in any prison in America.
The only reason I did not give this book five stars is because the publisher takced three speeches given by Debs after his release onto the end of the book. They add absolutely nothing, and lack the cogent analysis of the rest of the book.
Anyone who is interested in crime in American, and certainly anyone with an interest in prisons, should read this all too relevant 80 year old book.