Angela Davis: An Autobiography

Haymarket. 3rd ed. ed. Jan. 2022. 420p. ISBN 9781642595680. $28.95. BIOG
Davis (b. 1944; distinguished professor emerita of philosophy, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz) is a leading intellectual in the areas of intersectionality, feminism, restorative justice, prison abolition, anti-racism, and civil rights. In this third revised edition of her acclaimed autobiography (first published in 1974), Davis writes a new preface connecting the events of 2021 with her own experiences of the 1950s–70s. From her primary account of organizing for antiracism and equality, readers gain a better understanding of what she and others have been fighting for during the late 20th and early 21st century—and why it is still necessary to work toward ending racism in all its forms today. Especially notable are Davis’s powerfully keen observations on U.S. prison life, based on her incarceration as a political prisoner in the early 1970s; the autobiography shows that the American prison industrial system hasn’t significantly changed throughout the years, especially as experienced by people of color or those without means.
VERDICT This new edition of the autobiography is meant to bring Davis and her story to a new generation of readers, who can still identify with her experiences. It contains the prefaces of the earlier editions, so it is worth replacing older copies of the book. Still a key work in the areas of prison abolition and feminism, this reissue of a classic autobiography deserves a place of honor in any collection.
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