Eastern State Penitentiary: crucible of good intentions

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Philadelphia Museum of Art for the Eastern State Penitentiary Task Force of the Preservation Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Aug 1, 1994 - History - 116 pages
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The massive Eastern State Penitentiary in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, now a National Historic Landmark, is remarkable for its innovative architecture and its pioneering system of isolation in individual cells. Heir to the energetic Quaker reformist tradition in Philadelphia in the 1820s, the penitentiary was a model of idealism in penal reform and a model of prison architecture for the world. About three hundred prisons worldwide trace their paternity to Eastern State Penitentiary. This book shows how the novel experiment in prison reform contended with the realities of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and explores the legacy of this "crucible of good intentions."

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Norman Johnston

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About the author (1994)

Norman Johnston, the professor emeritus of sociology at Arcadia University, is the author of The Human Cage: A Brief History of Prison Architecture and other books.

Kathleen A. Foster is Curator of Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Art at the Indiana University Art Museum. Kenneth Finkel is Program Director for Culture and Children at the William Penn Foundation and former Curator of Prints and Photographs at the Library Company of Philadelphia.

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