Books by Mississippi Writers 1996-2010



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Nonfiction by David M. Oshinsky Free Press ($25.00, ISBN: 0684822989, 4/1996) A book of both scholarly distinction and impassioned social commentary, Worse Than Slavery takes us on a fascinating journey into the world of criminal justice in the era of racial segregation. The system of convict leasing and prison farms, Oshinsky remind us, was a home-grown gulag sanctioned by public authorities, social scientists, and self-proclaimed advocates of racial purity. At a time when imprisonment has become the favored solution to all sorts of social problems, Americans can ignore Oshinsky's history of Parchman Farm only at their peril. (Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History, Columbia University) Oshinsky's book goes to the heart of America's struggles with race, crime, and punishment. By showing how Parchman Penitentiary changed and did not change from the Old South until today, Oshinsky provides an unprecedented depth and perspective on these problems. He tells his story sparely and eloquently, without sentimentality, in the words of the people swept up in the sadness and terror of Parchman. (Edward L. Ayers)

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