Worse Than Slavery

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Apr 22, 1997 - Social Science - 320 pages
3 Reviews
In this sensitively told tale of suffering, brutality, and inhumanity, Worse Than Slavery is an epic history of race and punishment in the deepest South from emancipation to the civil rights era—and beyond.

Immortalized in blues songs and movies like Cool Hand Luke and The Defiant Ones, Mississippi’s infamous Parchman State Penitentiary was, in the pre-civil rights south, synonymous with cruelty. Now, noted historian David Oshinsky gives us the true story of the notorious prison, drawing on police records, prison documents, folklore, blues songs, and oral history, from the days of cotton-field chain gangs to the 1960s, when Parchman was used to break the wills of civil rights workers who journeyed south on Freedom Rides.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wsampson - LibraryThing

An immensely informative read - as riveting as it is sobering. I should note that Oshinsky covers a significant amount of time before Parchman's establishment. He begins before the Civil War, then ... Read full review

``WORSE THAN SLAVERY'': Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An absorbing tale of a Southern prison whose name is synonymous with brutality. Historian Oshinsky (A Conspiracy So Immense, 1983) draws on materials ranging from court records and blues lyrics of ... Read full review

Contents

AFTER SLAVERY BEFORE PARCH
11
The Mississippi Plan
31
American Siberia
55
The White Chief
85
The Birth and Birthplace
135
White Men Black Women
157
Going Home
179
Executioners Song
205
135
303
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 15 - There were men, women, and children in every stage of disease or decrepitude, often nearly naked, with flesh torn by the terrible experiences of their escapes. Sometimes they were intelligent and eager to help themselves; often they were bewildered or stupid or possessed by the wildest notions of what liberty might mean — expecting to exchange labor, and obedience to the will of another, for idleness and freedom from restraint. Such ignorance and perverted...

References to this book

About the author (1997)

He is also an associate editor of the American National Biography. Oshinsky writes about the brutality of penitentiary life in his book, Worse Than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice. He earned a Senior Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities and an appointment as Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Texas, Austin for his work on the penitentiary project. Oshinsky also received the 17th Annual Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for his novel.