Our Class: Trauma and Transformation in an American Prison

We rated this book:


This book purportedly demonstrates the injustice perpetrated by the American prison system, but by detailing the abuses therein, the author inadvertently depicts the degradation of the inmates and their bestial-like behaviors. Whether they have been reduced to such circumstances by the cruelty of the system or they are inherently evil, the result is that this reader would not like to meet up with any inmate so described.

Unlike other books about the prison system, notably the work of Dostoevsky, who described his fellow inmates as fellows just like ourselves, Hedges recounts shocking instances of cruel and inhuman behaviors. This works against his thesis of the cruelty of the system rather than the cruel behaviors of the incarcerated. The author seems mesmerized by viewing the inside of the prison system and elevated by his status as the great educator. Hedges relies heavily on iconic writers such as James Baldwin as he digresses to label the Black church complicit in the hypocrisy of our society.

This is the fourteenth book by Hedges, who is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. One would hope that other books would bring more of a human voice to those society has abandoned.

Reviewed By:

Author Chris Hedges
Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 272 pages
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Publish Date 19-Oct-2021
ISBN 9781982154431 Buy this Book
Issue November 2021
Category Current Events & Politics