“The trial of Angela Davis is remembered as one of America’s most historic political trials, and no one can tell the story better than Davis herself. Opening with a letter from James Baldwin to Angela, and including contributions from numerous radicals and commentators such as Black Panthers George Jackson, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale and Erica Huggins, this book is not only an account of Davis’s incarceration and the struggles surrounding it, but also perhaps the most comprehensive and thorough analysis of the prison system of the United States and the figure embodied in Davis’s arrest and imprisonment-the political prisoner.

Since the book was written, the carceral system in the US has grown from strength to strength, with more of … More

Born OTD in 1954, political activist and journalist, Mumia Abu-Jamal. Beginning at the age of 14 in 1968, Abu-Jamal became involved with the Black Panther Party & was a member until October 1970. After he left the party, he completed his high school education, & later became a radio reporter. He eventually served as president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. He supported the MOVE Organization in Philadelphia and covered the 1978 confrontation in which one police officer was killed. The MOVE Nine were the members who were arrested and convicted of murder in that case.

Produced under the auspices of Amnesty International, this is a compact analysis of the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal who had … More

The 1990 Strangeways Prison riot was a 25-day prison riot and rooftop protest at Strangeways Prison in Manchester, England. The riot began on 1 April 1990 when prisoners took control of the prison chapel, and the riot quickly spread throughout most of the prison. The riot and rooftop protest ended on 25 April when the final five prisoners were removed from the rooftop, making it the longest prison riot in British penal history. The riot sparked a series of disturbances in prisons across England, Scotland and Wales, resulting in the British government announcing a public inquiry into the riots headed by Lord Woolf. The resulting Woolf Report concluded that conditions in the prison had been intolerable, and recommended major reform of the prison system.

“This book…makes a vital contribution to the continuing campaign for change. It does so because it has the insight of … More

The novel begins in Marseilles “thirty years ago” (c. 1826), with the notorious murderer Rigaud telling his cellmate John Baptiste Cavalletto how he killed his wife. Arthur Clennam is detained in Marseilles with a group of travellers in quarantine. He meets new friends in the quarantine. He is returning to London to see his mother after 20 years in China with his father, handling that part of the family business. His father died there. On his deathbed, his father had given him a mysterious message, murmuring “Your mother,” which message and a watch Arthur mails to Mrs Clennam.

Inside the watch casing is an old silk paper with the initials DNF (do not forget) worked in beads. It … More

Born OTD in 1854, Irish poet and playwright, Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde. In Praise of Disobedience draws on works from a single miraculous year in which Wilde published the larger part of his greatest works in prose the year he came into maturity as an artist. Before the end of 1891, he had written the first of his phenomenally successful plays & met the young man who would win his heart, beginning the love affair that would lead to imprisonment & public infamy. In a witty introduction, playwright, novelist & Wilde scholar Neil Bartlett explains what made this point in the writer’s life central to his genius and why Wilde remains a provocative and radical figure to this day.

Included here are the entirety of Wilde’s foray into political philosophy, The Soul of Man Under Socialism; the complete essay … More

Next book launch is with Carl Cattermole and his, ‘Prison: A Survival Guide’. Monday, 12th August, 6pm at PM Bookshop. “Newspapers say prison is a holiday camp, movies say it’s a bloodbath & the government says it’s a place of rehabilitation & education. Confused? When I was preparing to go to prison I definitely was…”

“..so I sat on a park bench with my mate Andrew (who had served two years for painting graffitti) and … More

On this day, 25 May 1895, libertarian socialist author Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for two years’ hard labour for “indecency”. This graphic biography of Oscar Wilde focuses on perhaps the most important phase of the Irish writer’s life: his two years behind the iron bars and stone walls of the brutal Victorian prison system. Merlin Holland, Oscar Wilde’s grandson, has praised the “quality as well as the sensitivity” of The Season of Sorrow.

With two plays running in London’s West End and at the height of his success, Wilde was convicted of gross … More

OTD in 1840, the transportation of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished. The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia’s Founding by Robert Hughes is a history of the birth of Australia out of the suffering and brutality of Britain’s convict transportation system. It also addresses the historical, political and sociological reasons that led to British settlement.

The British Government began transporting convicts overseas to American colonies in the early 17th century. When transportation ended with the … More

A powerful, groundbreaking history of the Occupied Territories from one of Israel’s most influential historians. From the author of the bestselling study of the 1948 War of Independence comes an incisive look at the Occupied Territories, picking up the story where The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine left off. In this comprehensive exploration of one of the world’s most prolonged & tragic conflicts, Pappe uses recently declassified archival material to analyse the motivations & strategies of the generals & politicians – & the decision-making process itself – that laid the foundation of the occupation.

From a survey of the legal and bureaucratic infrastructures that were put in place to control the population of over … More

Born OTD in 1954, Robert Gerard Sands. This is the best-selling biography of the IRA resistance fighter and hunger-striker, Bobby Sands. In this updated, new edition, Denis O’Hearn draws from a wealth of interviews with friends, comrades, fellow prisoners and prison wardens, to provide a faithful and shocking insight into life in Northern Ireland’s H-Block prisons, an exploration of the motivations and thoughts of the Republican strikers and the story of one of the world’s most radical, inspirational figures.

Following his journey from its very beginnings – an ordinary boy from a working-class background in Belfast to a highly … More