In this disturbing yet elegant exposé of U.S. penitentiaries and their surrounding communities, Sasha Abramsky shows how American prisons have abandoned their long-held ideal of rehabilitation, often for political reasons. After surveying our current state of affairs-life sentences for nonviolent crimes, appalling conditions for inmates, the growth of private prisons, the treatment of juveniles-Abramsky argues that our punitive policies are not only inhuman but deeply counterproductive. Brilliantly researched and compellingly told, American Furies reveals the devastating consequences of a society that believes in "lock 'em up and throw away the key."
The most intelligent and haunting indictment of the American prison system that I have ever read. Sasha Abramsky has shone an incandescent lamp on a shadowy underground universe that holds and in all too many cases brutalizes the lives of more than two million Americans. He should be commended for doing so, and his book made required reading for every legislator in the land, bar none.—Simon Winchester, author of A Crack in the Edge of the World and The Professor and the Madman
"A well-researched book on a significant American problem that's often locked away behind bars."—Publishers Weekly
"The most urgent book of the season. Sasha Abramsky provides us with an invaluable, if harrowing, audit of the cataclysmic damage inflicted upon American values by American prisons. The lack of compassion in our national life and the gangrened hearts of our politicians pose greater threats to our childrens' futures than any overseas terrorist conspiracy." —Mike Davis, professor of history at University of California, Irvine and author of seven books, including Planet of Slums and The Monster at Our Door
"A smart, compassionate and tough-minded look at the rise and impact of the tough-on-crime culture that has made America the world's foremost jailer. By showing us how we got into this mess, this revelatory book also holds out hope that we might find our way out."—Nell Bernstein, author of All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated
"Sobering . . . Abramsky uses painstaking research, anecdotal evidence from inmates and tours of penal hellholes across the land to lock in American Furies." —Sacramento News and Review
"In the difficult realm of prison reporting, Abramsky is unquestionably among the best and brightest, and American Furies is clear evidence of such." —The American Prospect
"American Furies provides us with a vivid account…" --The Nation