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Liberty's Prisoners: Carceral Culture in Early America (Early American Studies) Paperback – April 26, 2019

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Editorial Reviews


"Jen Manion's Liberty's Prisoners powerfully recaptures the moment of transition between an older penal system based on public pain and shame and an emergent one centered on confinement, surveillance, and hidden humiliation. Focused on Philadelphia's famous Walnut Street Prison, Liberty's Prisoners demonstrates the human costs of the birth of the penitentiary."—William and Mary Quarterly

"Jen Manion's absorbing and important book adds many new layers to our understanding of the penitentiary system as it emerged in the early American republic. Manion shows the central roles played by gender and sexuality in the project of containing liberty through incarceration, as well as the close association between African Americans and criminality in this early phase of the prison system's history. Liberty's Prisoners reminds us how impossible it is to understand the history of freedom and its negation without placing gender, sex, and race at the center of that story."—Richard Godbeer, Virginia Commonwealth University

"By studying the lives of incarcerated African American, immigrant, and poor white women, Liberty's Prisoners describes the expansion of punishment and penal authority as a conscious effort to reassert social control in the Revolution's wake."—Mary Frances Berry, University of Pennsylvania

"Liberty's Prisoners is a very smart book, packed full of original insights and new perspectives. It makes significant contributions to a wide array of cutting-edge scholarly concerns in the history of the early American republic, crime and punishment in America, and the history of gender and sexuality."—Bruce Dorsey, Swarthmore College

About the Author

Jen Manion is Associate Professor of History at Amherst College.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ University of Pennsylvania Press; Reprint edition (April 26, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 296 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 081222437X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0812224375
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 14.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.67 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 4 ratings

About the author

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Jen Manion is Associate Professor of History at Amherst College. Jen received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in history from Rutgers University. Their new book &quot;Female Husbands: A Trans History&quot; will be published by Cambridge University Press in March 2020. &quot;Liberty's Prisoners&quot; shows how racialized and gendered ideas about sexuality, freedom, and resistance shaped the creation of the penitentiary system in the U.S. &quot;Taking Back the Academy&quot; is a collection of essays about social justice movements and the struggle to document and pass on these histories. Jen tweets at @activisthistory and maintains a blog at jenmanion.com and is a senior editor at Public Seminar https://publicseminar.org/author/jmanion/

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