Punishment, Prisons, and Patriarchy: Liberty and Power in the Early Republic

Overview

Punishment, Prisons, and Patriarchy tells the story of how first-generation Americans coupled their legacy of liberty with a penal philosophy that promoted patriarchy, especially for marginal Americans.

American patriots fought a revolution in the name of liberty. Their victory celebrations barely ended before leaders expressed fears that immigrants, African Americans, women, and the lower classes were prone to vice, disorder, and crime. This spurred a generation of penal ...

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Punishment, Prisons, and Patriarchy: Liberty and Power in the Early Republic

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Overview

Punishment, Prisons, and Patriarchy tells the story of how first-generation Americans coupled their legacy of liberty with a penal philosophy that promoted patriarchy, especially for marginal Americans.

American patriots fought a revolution in the name of liberty. Their victory celebrations barely ended before leaders expressed fears that immigrants, African Americans, women, and the lower classes were prone to vice, disorder, and crime. This spurred a generation of penal reformers to promote successfully the most systematic institution ever devised for stripping people of liberty: the penitentiary.

Today, Americans laud liberty but few citizens contest the legitimacy of federal, state, and local government authority to incarcerate 2 million people and subject another 4.7 million probationers and parolees to scrutiny, surveillance, and supervision. How did classical liberalism aid in the development of such expansive penal practices in the wake of the War of Independence?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This work will take its place among the growing corpus of important studies that examine patriarchy and society’s need to punish its criminals in ways it paradoxically deemed more enlightened and humanitarian than in times past. Kahn uses substantial primary and secondary material. . . . Recommended.”
-Choice,

“Mark E. Kannhas written a fascinating, thought-provoking, and timely political-historical study of penal thought and practice in the formative years of the United States.”
-American Historical Review

,

“This is a valuable book for those wishing to familiarize themselves with the scholarship on prison reform in the nineteenth-century United States.”
-Men and Masculinities

,

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814747834
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2005
  • Pages: 337
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark E. Kann, Professor Emeritus of Political Science and History, held the USC Associates Chair in Social Science at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Republic of Men (NYU Press, 1998) and Punishment, Prisons, and Patriarchy (NYU Press, 2005).

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Table of Contents

1 Justifications for punishment 21
2 Purposes of punishment 43
3 Targets of punishment 64
4 Benjamin Rush : patriarch of penal reform 89
5 The case against traditional punishments 110
6 Penitentiary punishment 130
7 Prison discipline and prison patriarchs 151
8 Disenchantment 171
9 Warehousing marginal Americans 192
10 Concealing punishment 215
11 Stretching patriarchal political power 235
Conclusion : liberty and power 255
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