By Albert Woodfox,

Book cover of Solitary

Book description

Praise for Solitary:

Named One of Barack Obama’s Favorite Books of 2019
Winner of the Stowe Prize
Named the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Book of the Year
Named a Best Book of the…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Solitary as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is Albert Woodfox’s shocking and amazing life history of spending most of his life in Angola, the most brutal prison in Louisiana.

It’s an exposé of prison brutality and dehumanization. But it’s also a stunning account of his own courage and spirit. On top, the writing is sparse, stark, and beautiful. 

From Abigail's list on the criminalization of immigrant men.

This book upended everything I thought I knew about the criminal justice and the penal system in the United States and shook me to the core. Albert Woodfox provides a raw, honest, and compelling narrative of his life which is centered largely upon the 44 years he spent in solitary confinement for crimes he did not commit. His strength is palpable which he attributes to friends who witnessed and shared his unwarranted punishment and others who fought for his freedom. Equally important is the context Woodfox provides that documents profound racial disparities in the criminal justice system throughout the country.…

Any understanding of mass incarceration must be grounded in the experience of people who have been incarcerated. Alfred Woodfox’s autobiography of spending more than four decades in prison, the bulk of it in solitary confinement, is both a rich political analysis by a revolutionary who emerged from the Black Panther Party and a deeply troubling account of the tortured existence of hundreds of thousands of people locked away in US prisons for acts that they either did not carry out or for which ridiculously punitive laws and policies in addressing apparent harms done have been applied. No book about prison…

From James' list on mass incarceration.

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