Solitary
Solitary is the unforgettable life story of a man who served more than four decades in solitary confinement--in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell, 23 hours a day, in notorious Angola prison in Louisiana--all for a crime he did not commit. That Albert Woodfox survived was, in itself, a feat of extraordinary endurance against the violence and deprivation he faced daily. That he was able to emerge whole from his odyssey within America's prison and judicial systems is a triumph of the human spirit, and makes his book a clarion call to reform the inhumanity of solitary confinement in the U.S. and around the world. Arrested often as a teenager in New Orleans, inspired behind bars in his early twenties to join the Black Panther Party because of its social commitment and code of living, Albert was serving a 50-year sentence in Angola for armed robbery when on April 17, 1972, a white guard was killed. Albert and another member of the Panthers were accused of the crime and immediately put in solitary confinement by the warden. Without a shred of actual evidence against them, their trial was a sham of justice that gave them life sentences in solitary. Decades passed before Albert gained a lawyer of consequence; even so, sixteen more years and multiple appeals were needed before he was finally released in February 2016.Remarkably self-aware that anger or bitterness would have destroyed him in solitary confinement, sustained by the shared solidarity of two fellow Panthers, Albert turned his anger into activism and resistance. The Angola 3, as they became known, resolved never to be broken by the grinding inhumanity and corruption that effectively held them for decades as political prisoners. He survived to give us Solitary, a chronicle of rare power and humanity that proves the better spirits of our nature can thrive against any odds.

Solitary Details

TitleSolitary
Author
ReleaseMar 5th, 2019
PublisherGrove Press
ISBN-139780802129086
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, Race, Politics, History

Solitary Review

  • Calzean
    January 1, 1970
    Yikes what an indictment of the US legal and prison system. This is a book on many of the things wrong with the Land of the Brave. It is not much of an endorsement. Woodfox's experiences in the aptly named prison Angola, Louisiana. It read like a war zone, ruled by despots with all the accompanying violence, rape, racism, corruptness and hopelessness. But Woodfox finds hope and strength in his adoption of Black Panther ideals of unity, helping others, strength in the face adversity. He spends al Yikes what an indictment of the US legal and prison system. This is a book on many of the things wrong with the Land of the Brave. It is not much of an endorsement. Woodfox's experiences in the aptly named prison Angola, Louisiana. It read like a war zone, ruled by despots with all the accompanying violence, rape, racism, corruptness and hopelessness. But Woodfox finds hope and strength in his adoption of Black Panther ideals of unity, helping others, strength in the face adversity. He spends almost 40 years in solitary confinement after being framed for the murder of a prison guard. The last part of the book, which is a bit detailed, covers the efforts to gain his (and his co-accused Herman Wallace) freedom. What a journey, what a wall of resistance, what drives the people who kept stone-walling?
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  • Text Publishing
    January 1, 1970
    ‘In beautifully poetic language that starkly contrasts the world he's describing, Woodfox awes and inspires. He illustrates the power of the human spirit, while illuminating the dire need for prison reform in the United States. Solitary is a brilliant blend of passion, terror and hope that everyone needs to experience.’ Shelf Awareness [starred review]‘[A] profound book about friendship … told simply but not tersely…If the ending of this book does not leave you with tears pooling down in your cl ‘In beautifully poetic language that starkly contrasts the world he's describing, Woodfox awes and inspires. He illustrates the power of the human spirit, while illuminating the dire need for prison reform in the United States. Solitary is a brilliant blend of passion, terror and hope that everyone needs to experience.’ Shelf Awareness [starred review]‘[A] profound book about friendship … told simply but not tersely…If the ending of this book does not leave you with tears pooling down in your clavicles, you are a stronger person than I am.’ New York Times‘[A] book that is wrenching… Woodfox’s story makes [for] uncomfortable reading, which is as it should be. Solitary should make every reader writhe with shame and ask: What am I going to do to help change this?’ Washington Post
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  • Lou
    January 1, 1970
    “Our resistance gave us an identity. Our identity gave us strength. Our strength gave us an unbreakable will.”-Albert Woodfox“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”—Frederick Douglass“[If ] any white man in the world says ‘Give me liberty, or give me death,’ the entire world applauds. When a black man “Our resistance gave us an identity. Our identity gave us strength. Our strength gave us an unbreakable will.”-Albert Woodfox“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”—Frederick Douglass“[If ] any white man in the world says ‘Give me liberty, or give me death,’ the entire world applauds. When a black man says exactly the same thing, word for word, he is judged a criminal and treated like one.”—James BaldwinHe starts by telling of his youth and his mother and her wisdom and fortitude.A telling of survival in poverty under Jim Crow laws, being called names, despicable kind, the racist kind.Be prepared for the days of the unstoppable force that is Albert Woodfox presented before you in this narrative, if you did not know him then you surely will now with awe and respect, man of code, principle. and no s**t toleration, a raw and unfiltered narrative of an urban survivalist.His first jail sentence seems to be for two years for auto theft he had escaped the jail and brought back, he then landed in Angola at 18 he was set at doing two years at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, then overtime at aged 24 he was already through five years of being in and out of 4 different prisons, with one final terrible one, Angola, but this time in solitary for many years.He does no look for sympathy in this narrative this laying down of his struggle but he does draw empathy, he had certain choices in life and due to poverty, racism, and social economic divide took them.As he joined the Black Panther Party and started a chapter in the prison he became a threat to the status quo, in and out of prison.Slavery, poverty, bondage, unjust prison system, corruption, horrors, abuses, but also the power of unity, brotherhood, education, reading, courage, will and hope, all brought back to the readers consciousness again, stark and raw truths layered out one of the most important narratives to be released in 2019.Fighting against injustices, human and civil rights, making wrongs right, including ones of his self, a breaker of laws, metamorphosing into one of no more crimes, reestablished reborn with all the darkness, using his light and fortitude and what his mother instilled courage and leadership, never giving up and moving forward even if his life was in 6’ by 9’ in solitary.A terrible tragedy within these pages and tale of empowerment and not allowing the prison to shape him, an inspiring struggle, this is a journey a portrait of a young to older man in incarceration and despite it all, compassion remains, courage and a fortified human being with unbreakable will.Read my review with excerpts @ More2Read
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  • Brian Wraight
    January 1, 1970
    Please just read it. Woodfox isn’t the first person to suffer at the hands of America’s broken criminal justice system and, as long as the prison industrial complex and systemic racism continue to chug along and get away with it, he most certainly won’t be the last. Yes, he’s one of many. Yes, it’s a story that we’ve heard before. And that’s exactly why his story is important and needs to be told.
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  • Niklas Pivic
    January 1, 1970
    When Albert Woodfox was incarcerated and sentenced to quite a stretch in jail, he didn't know what to think, really; he was a teenager who'd got muddled up in basic criminal teenage stuff.One of Woodfox's great strengths is his ability to express himself straightforwardly, without mucking up a line. As here:The first time I was called a nigger by a white person I was around 12. I was waiting with dozens of other kids at the end of the Mardi Gras parade behind the Municipal Auditorium where the p When Albert Woodfox was incarcerated and sentenced to quite a stretch in jail, he didn't know what to think, really; he was a teenager who'd got muddled up in basic criminal teenage stuff.One of Woodfox's great strengths is his ability to express himself straightforwardly, without mucking up a line. As here:The first time I was called a nigger by a white person I was around 12. I was waiting with dozens of other kids at the end of the Mardi Gras parade behind the Municipal Auditorium where the people on the floats, who were all white in those days, gave away whatever beads and trinkets they had left. On one of the floats the man tossing the trinkets was holding a real beautiful strand of pearl-colored beads. I thought they’d make a nice gift for my mom on her birthday. I called out to him, “Hey mister, hey mister,” and reached out my hand.He pointed to me as he held the beads above his head and tossed them toward me. As the beads came close to me I reached up and a white girl standing next to me put her hand up and caught them at the same time I did. I didn’t let go. I gestured to the man on the float and told her, “Hey, he was throwing the beads to me.” I told her I wanted to give them to my mom. She looked at the man on the float who was still pointing at me, then she ripped the beads apart and called me nigger. The pain I felt from that young white girl calling me nigger will be with me forever.Also:At night, we stood under a streetlight on the corner of Dumaine and Robertson and talked shit for hours, boasting about things we never did, describing girls we never knew.It's a fair shake to a man who can describe aeons of time in a single line.I cannot even get into the innards of what happened to Woodfox, but he does a great job at showing what went down in Angola, a big American jail, where he went in the 1960s:If you were raped at Angola, or what was called “turned out,” your life in prison was virtually over. You became a “gal-boy,” a possession of your rapist. You’d be sold, pimped, used, and abused by your rapist and even some guards. Your only way out was to kill yourself or kill your rapist. If you killed your rapist you’d be free of human bondage within the confines of the prison forever, but in exchange, you’d most likely be convicted of murder, so you’d have to spend the rest of your life at Angola.Some orderlies, inmate guards, and freeman who worked at RC sold the names of young and weak new arrivals to sexual predators in the prison population. I had to be much more confident than I felt to keep guys from trying stupid shit with me. I couldn’t look weak. I couldn’t show any fear. So I faked it. Luckily, I had a reputation as a fighter who never gave up. There were prisoners at Angola I had known on the street and who knew me or knew of me. Word spreads quickly in prison. Dudes gossiped and talked. Word was if you whip my ass today you have to whip it again tomorrow. You have to beat me every day for the rest of your life if necessary. That helped me a lot. Just those two paragraphs put the fear of Bog in me.This is quite the book to go well together with Shane Bauer's excellent exposé of the privately-owned prisons in the USA; that book is named "American Prison".One of the greatest hardships for me the first few months I was at Angola was getting used to the sameness of every day.The hardest job I ever had in my life was cutting sugarcane, Angola’s main crop. Cutting cane was so brutal that prisoners would pay somebody to break their hands, legs, or ankles, or they would cut themselves during cane season, to get out of doing it. There were old-timers at Angola who made good money breaking prisoners’ bones so men could get out of work.And that's just the start.Woodfox's political being starts becoming awakened due to meeting persons who taught him of The Black Panthers, and what they wanted to teach (and learn). This changed matters inside:We practiced martial arts together on the tier. We read aloud. We held math classes, spelling classes. We talked about what was going on in the world. Every Friday we passed out a spelling or math test. We encouraged debates and conversation. We told each man he had a say. “Stand up for yourself,” we told them, “for your own self-esteem, for your own dignity.” Even the roughest, most hardened person usually responds when you see the dignity and humanity in him and ask him to see it for himself. “The guards will retaliate,” we said, “but we will always face that together.”Where the book goes slightly not-good, is where Woodfox goes deeply into his own case; while I see how the details are important to him, I personally feel the book should have been edited tighter; my mind had a hard time staying focused on all of the minutiae, the majority of which I will not be taking with me to my grave. In a larger context, sure, I can see how that all pans out by showing how the government/state/prison/DAs wanted to grind Woodfox down to stop appealing for justice.Woodfox is really paying back to reading, what reading did for him:Reading was a bright spot for me. Reading was my salvation. Libraries and universities and schools from all over Louisiana donated books to Angola and for once, the willful ignorance of the prison administration paid off for us, because there were a lot of radical books in the prison library: Books we wouldn’t have been allowed to get through the mail. Books we never could have afforded to buy. Books we had never heard of. Herman, King, and I first gravitated to books and authors that dealt with politics and race—George Jackson, Frantz Fanon, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Steve Biko, Eldridge Cleaver’s Soul on Ice, J. A. Rogers’s From ‘Superman’ to Man. We read anything we could find on slavery, communism, socialism, Marxism, anti-imperialism, the African independence movements, and independence movements from around the world.There's so much good in this book. I hope it gets spread everywhere.
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  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    Some books we read to bear witness; to acknowledge the pain and suffering our country causes her own citizens to bear. Albert Woodcox was sent to prison, once there his life became a living hell. Accused of a crime there that he did not commit, he was held in solitary confinement for decades. Decades. This book explains his experience and the struggle for his release. Prison reform is but the tip of the iceberg in the change needed to rectify what happened to him. This book is important to read. Some books we read to bear witness; to acknowledge the pain and suffering our country causes her own citizens to bear. Albert Woodcox was sent to prison, once there his life became a living hell. Accused of a crime there that he did not commit, he was held in solitary confinement for decades. Decades. This book explains his experience and the struggle for his release. Prison reform is but the tip of the iceberg in the change needed to rectify what happened to him. This book is important to read. I received my copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
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  • Karen Ashmore
    January 1, 1970
    A very hard to read book. It starts out with his life in crime as a petty thief, then druggie, then armed robbery. Then went on to describe the injustices of the criminal justice and prison system. And the horrors of Angola, the worst prison in the US, located in the backwards state of Louisiana. All very hard to read. It is amazing that he was able to keep his head up and become a crusader for criminal justice reform.
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  • Kerisa Coleman
    January 1, 1970
    From the moment I picked up this book to this very moment, I was enthralled by the harsh realities of the U.S. criminal justice system, both past and current. Albert Woodfox adopted many principles of manhood and how he managed to hold onto his values, beliefs and convictions all those many years is something I can’t even fathom. Prison reform is a must. Having worked in the federal prison system for a number of years, I’m privy to the maltreatment of the incarcerated. We all are deserving of co From the moment I picked up this book to this very moment, I was enthralled by the harsh realities of the U.S. criminal justice system, both past and current. Albert Woodfox adopted many principles of manhood and how he managed to hold onto his values, beliefs and convictions all those many years is something I can’t even fathom. Prison reform is a must. Having worked in the federal prison system for a number of years, I’m privy to the maltreatment of the incarcerated. We all are deserving of compassion and kindness - for this is the core tenet of God’s love for us all.
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  • Marika
    January 1, 1970
    Albert Woodfox, holds the record for being the held in solitary confinement prisoner in the US. 43 years. Let that sink in. To stay sane, he made a vow with 2 other prisoners, who became known as the Angola Three, that they would remain strong and grow as men despite the obvious injustice and torture. Author Albert Woodfox has done the remarkable. It's almost as if he is sitting next to you on a park bench relating his story in a calm, measured way. It's the only palatable way to read a story su Albert Woodfox, holds the record for being the held in solitary confinement prisoner in the US. 43 years. Let that sink in. To stay sane, he made a vow with 2 other prisoners, who became known as the Angola Three, that they would remain strong and grow as men despite the obvious injustice and torture. Author Albert Woodfox has done the remarkable. It's almost as if he is sitting next to you on a park bench relating his story in a calm, measured way. It's the only palatable way to read a story such as this. A remarkable story about a strong man who wouldn't be broken, no matter what.*I read an advance copy and was not compensated.
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    An important book with great significance for our times. It should be on everyone's 'must read' list. You should be aware, however, it will not entertain. It will enlighten, enrage and enrich.
  • Florine
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing memoir! I've still have tears rolling down my face. I am in awe of this man's mental strength and integrity, despite all the violence, humiliation and loss he faced over the years. Yes, he committed crimes that sent him to jail in the first place, but then COINTELPRO took care of him, framed him and tried to break him.I'm more enraged and disgusted by the judicial system than ever. In addition to the deplorable and inhumane conditions of living of prisoners, the institutionalized racism, Amazing memoir! I've still have tears rolling down my face. I am in awe of this man's mental strength and integrity, despite all the violence, humiliation and loss he faced over the years. Yes, he committed crimes that sent him to jail in the first place, but then COINTELPRO took care of him, framed him and tried to break him.I'm more enraged and disgusted by the judicial system than ever. In addition to the deplorable and inhumane conditions of living of prisoners, the institutionalized racism, and blatant bias of the wardens, officers, judges, courts are shameful and appalling. The exception clause of the 13th amendment needs to be looked at, the 8th needs to be applied.Some quotes -That’s when I learned that courage doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid. Courage means you master that fear and act in spite of being afraid.They wanted prisoners who had no spirit. They wanted prisoners to fear one another and abuse one another; it made them easier to control.The dungeon could destroy every fragment of a man’s dignity and self-respect. The harsh conditions were so hurtful that strong men would cry. They broke.In the human herd survival of the fittest is all there is. You become instinctive, not intellectual. Therein lies the secret to the master’s control.Without knowing black history, we knew nothing about ourselves.The sight of black men legally carrying guns was so terrifying to the establishment that even the National Rifle Association (NRA) supported a measure to repeal the California gun law that allowed the public to openly carry loaded firearms.A raised fist was for unity between Panthers, unity within black communities, and unity with anyone waging the same struggles for the people, for empowerment and equality and justice.We lived in a world where a black person who stood up for other blacks could go to jail.The need to be treated with human dignity touches everyone. And the key to resistance is unity.But instead, we did not allow prison to shape us. We defined ourselves.I now realize that knowledge can be the key for that what sometimes seem impossible in life.There is no oversight of prosecutorial conduct in this country, even though reckless and irresponsible actions by prosecutors, who are out not for justice or truth but only for their own careers and to win, have enormous lifelong consequences on people’s lives that can never be undone.My experience in a six-by-nine-foot cell for 29 years in solitary confinement taught me the difference between legality and morality. It made me realize that despite the fact that the 13th Amendment allegedly abolished slavery, slavery was never abolished. I learned that a person could be actually innocent of a crime but convicted legally, and that this person would be designated a legal slave—as it was in 1864 where the Constitution decreed that if you were black being a slave was your lot. Modern-day slavery is alive and well in America but it has taken on a different form—from the plantation to the prison… [King]
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  • Kimberlee (reading.wanderwoman)
    January 1, 1970
    "After years in prison in solitary confinement, I experienced all the emotions the Louisiana department of Public Safety and Corrections wanted from me - anger, bitterness, the thirst to see someone suffer the way I was suffering, the revenge factor, all that. But I also became something they didn't want or expect - self-educated. I could lose myself in a book. Reading was a bright spot for me. Reading was my salvation." "The need to be treated with human dignity touches everyone. And the key t "After years in prison in solitary confinement, I experienced all the emotions the Louisiana department of Public Safety and Corrections wanted from me - anger, bitterness, the thirst to see someone suffer the way I was suffering, the revenge factor, all that. But I also became something they didn't want or expect - self-educated. I could lose myself in a book. Reading was a bright spot for me. Reading was my salvation." "The need to be treated with human dignity touches everyone. And the key to resistance is unity.""Even with the constant noise and when the pain of not being able to leave my cell with two much to bear. (I cried. I cried a lot of times after the tear was locked down so no one could see.) Even with the fear that one day I would go insane like so many others I'd witnessed. I saw life as constantly changing and I allowed myself to change.""Through Mr. Woodfox I was reminded that a man who chooses not to seek knowledge is the same as a boy who choose not to become a man. I now realize that knowledge can be the key for that what sometimes seem impossible in life." (Unknown prisoner who was next to Albert in his cell)These small snippets show the hopeful side of this book. I have not shared the pieces that talk about how severely these men were beaten and gassed and not allowed hospital visits or medical help when sick or how they were wrongly accused and written up when finally allowed medical help. Or how they were ignored and neglected and abused on every single possible level. Physical, mental, emotional etc etc.A combination of so many emotions, and feelings. Here are a few....Devastating. Baffling. Eye-opening. Powerful. Disgusting. Shocking. Disappointing. Appalling. Nauseating. Infuriating.Moving. Hope. Strength. Motivational. Inspirational. Resilient.It's hard to put into words how important this book is. Everyone NEEDS to read it.This is not a recommendation, it is a necessity. Period. This book deserves far more than a review, it deserves action.
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  • Jennie Wellman
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes I'm nervous to read books about social justice issues. Sometimes, maybe too often, books on social justice issues end with a bootstraps narrative. I understand why- it's more palatable to audiences. But Woodfox doesn't provide a bootstraps narrative in this book. Woodfox uses personal experience, philosophy, social science, and analysis to look at the ideology and hegemony that allows for atrocities like what happened to the Angola Four to take place. Woodfox takes on every aspect of p Sometimes I'm nervous to read books about social justice issues. Sometimes, maybe too often, books on social justice issues end with a bootstraps narrative. I understand why- it's more palatable to audiences. But Woodfox doesn't provide a bootstraps narrative in this book. Woodfox uses personal experience, philosophy, social science, and analysis to look at the ideology and hegemony that allows for atrocities like what happened to the Angola Four to take place. Woodfox takes on every aspect of prison and policing, and politicians to unearth and shine a light on answering the question of, "How can these things be?" And he doesn't hold back on showing his warts to the audience and what put him in prison.
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  • Gail
    January 1, 1970
    I spent the first bit of this book wondering when I would start feeling empathy for his plight- he speaks so plainly and matter of factly about his (many) crimes, I didn’t think that jail would be an inappropriate consequence. But I only had to wait a bit, and the horrors of the injustices brought upon him (decades in solitary, clearly the victim of vendettas by wardens, etc) become inescapable. I admire his strength of spirit and am glad he survived to tell his story, but the overall effect of I spent the first bit of this book wondering when I would start feeling empathy for his plight- he speaks so plainly and matter of factly about his (many) crimes, I didn’t think that jail would be an inappropriate consequence. But I only had to wait a bit, and the horrors of the injustices brought upon him (decades in solitary, clearly the victim of vendettas by wardens, etc) become inescapable. I admire his strength of spirit and am glad he survived to tell his story, but the overall effect of the book is depressing, esp in light of the response to the BLM movement and the current president.
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  • Franc Woods
    January 1, 1970
    Heart wrenching story of Albert Woodfox and the Angola 3. How he survived the horror of 40+ years of solitary confinement is beyond belief. How a government that is part of this country could be so callous in its vengeful actions towards these men is unbelievable. My only criticism of this book came in epilog. Alberts one sided view, although understandable, is biased (black lives matter). All lives matter... black, white, yellow, brown, blue, poor, and not. We need to change and work together t Heart wrenching story of Albert Woodfox and the Angola 3. How he survived the horror of 40+ years of solitary confinement is beyond belief. How a government that is part of this country could be so callous in its vengeful actions towards these men is unbelievable. My only criticism of this book came in epilog. Alberts one sided view, although understandable, is biased (black lives matter). All lives matter... black, white, yellow, brown, blue, poor, and not. We need to change and work together to change.
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  • Slappy
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. This is a book that will stay with you for a long time. 40 years in solitary confinement for a crime he didn't commit. A searing indictment of the systemic racism in the US justice system and the private prison complex. Woodfox names names: People like Anne Butler, who freely writes books which are reviewed on Goodreads, and openly lives in Louisiana, people like Buddy Caldwell, Bobby Jindal, all openly conspired to imprison and torture the Angola 3 even though they knew they were not guilt Wow. This is a book that will stay with you for a long time. 40 years in solitary confinement for a crime he didn't commit. A searing indictment of the systemic racism in the US justice system and the private prison complex. Woodfox names names: People like Anne Butler, who freely writes books which are reviewed on Goodreads, and openly lives in Louisiana, people like Buddy Caldwell, Bobby Jindal, all openly conspired to imprison and torture the Angola 3 even though they knew they were not guilty. These are the people who should be imprisoned.
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  • Corinna
    January 1, 1970
    This was a difficult book to read. He spends a lot of time describing the circumstances of his incarceration and the politics of Angola, which were fascinating. He spends very little time discussing the impact of this on him emotionally and psychologically , which is understandable, but made the normally personal form of the autobiography to feel less personal. Still, any way you slice it, this is a powerful read on the prison system, from the 60’s up to the present.
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  • Rebecca Tolley
    January 1, 1970
    Albert Woodfox spent decades in Angola prison, in solitary confinement for a crime he did not commit. After coming to prison for armed robbery (for which he was guilty), he adopted the beliefs of the Black Panthers and Angola's administration separated him and two other prisoners from the general population, and basically tortured them for 30+ years. Very depressing to read about his experiences. His resilience is something else. What a brave man. This was so eye-opening on several levels with h Albert Woodfox spent decades in Angola prison, in solitary confinement for a crime he did not commit. After coming to prison for armed robbery (for which he was guilty), he adopted the beliefs of the Black Panthers and Angola's administration separated him and two other prisoners from the general population, and basically tortured them for 30+ years. Very depressing to read about his experiences. His resilience is something else. What a brave man. This was so eye-opening on several levels with how corrupt the criminal justice system is and how long exoneration takes--decades. How prison's violate prisoner's rights with impunity is truly awful. There were odious sections where Woodfox recounted the state's lack of evidence against him. I enjoyed reading about his experiences, beliefs, and interior state.
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  • Trashy Dreams
    January 1, 1970
    Aside from Woodfox (and his friends/family), the only shining light in this book is knowing that he eventually gets out. Other than that, it's one of the most upsetting and extensive accounts of corruption, racism and a complete disregard for any kind of recognizable justice. Where most men would have broken any number of times, Mr. Woodfox demonstrated endless amounts of pride, discipline, wisdom and patience. I wish him every possible bit of joy he can still get out of this life.
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  • Aida Alberto
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and all opinions are my own. Wow, wow, wow. I couldn't put it down until the last page. I love memoirs and this is one of my favorite ones this year. Absolutely pick up this winner of a book. You will not be disappointed. Happy reading! #Solitary #NetGalley
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  • emily
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5 A harrowing, personal story about the injustice and prejudice in the Louisiana justice system. This book makes you confront the inhumanity in people and admire the bravery in the oppressed. It is not an easy book to read with 40 years of legal struggle and oppression, but it is important to learn what other fellow human beings are going through.
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  • Evan
    January 1, 1970
    Woodfox is a stronger person than every single coward, liar, and bigot who has helped perpetuate the institutionalized racism that still strongly exists in our society and that kept him and other men behind bars for so long. Should be required reading for... everyone.
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  • Derrick Lim
    January 1, 1970
    Albert Woodfox's experience in the legal system of America is eerily like a modern retelling of Franz Kafka's 'The Castle'.
  • Bill
    January 1, 1970
    An important story. A bit too simplistic for me.
  • Cindywue
    January 1, 1970
    Albert Woodfox’ courageous story is spellbinding. His experience both breaks your heart and inspires by his courageous example.
  • Leah Colby
    January 1, 1970
    A MUST read if you want to learn anything about our broken criminal justice system. #themoreyouknow
  • Ruth
    January 1, 1970
    Heartbreaking and infuriating.
  • Rae Simpson
    January 1, 1970
    Minuteman. Too painful to read. 40 years in solitary for killing a white guard, exonerated and released 2016, advocates for prison reform, kept good qualities despite treatment.
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