Publisher description for The rise and fall of California's radical prison movement / Eric Cummins.
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This is a history of the California prison movement from 1950 to 1980, highlighting the role that prison reading and writing played in the creation of radical inmate ideology in those years. This was an extraordinary era in the California prisons, one that saw the emergence of a highly developed, radical convict resistance movement inside prison walls, fuelled at times by remarkable prisoners like Caryl Chessman, Eldridge Cleaver or George Jackson, and by groups of inmates like the Black Muslims or the Black Panther Party. The book traces the rise and fall of the prisoners' movement, ending with the inevitable bloody confrontation between prisoners and the state and the subsequent prison administration crackdown. He also discusses how such writings as Chessman's Cell 2455, Cleaver's Soul on Ice, and Jackson's Soledad Brother reached far beyond prison walls to influence opinion, events, and policy.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: California State Prison at San Quentin, Prisoners California, Prisoners' writings, American California, Prison riots California, Prison sentences California, Prisons California