Concrete Mama, second edition
Prison Profiles from Walla Walla
McCoy and Hoffman roamed the maximum-security compound almost at will, observing and befriending prisoners and guards. The result is a striking depiction of a community in which there was little to do, much to fear, and a culture that both mimicked and scorned the outside world. McCoy's unadorned prose and Hoffman's stunning black-and-white photographs offer as authentic a portrayal of life in the Big House as "outsiders" are ever likely to experience.
Originally published in 1981, Concrete Mama revealed a previously unseen stark and complex world of life on the inside, for which it won the Washington State Book Award. Long unavailable yet still relevant, it is revitalized in a second edition with an introduction by scholar Dan Berger that provides historical context for the book's ongoing resonance, along with several previously unpublished photographs.
About the Authors
"Concrete Mama is an intensely human portrait of the inhumane practice of caging. In their powerful images and text, McCoy and Hoffman document the end of one era in the history of incarceration in America and the crushing onset of another. With Dan Berger's brilliant introduction, the return of this classic is an important contribution to the critique of the prison today."—Regina Kunzel, author of Criminal Intimacy: Prison and the Uneven History of Modern American Sexuality
"Concrete Mama reveals the social life, power relations, and practices of intimacy in Walla Walla prison in the 1970s, a prison in the state of Washington known both for progressive reform and brutal acts of administrative violence. Through striking photographs and rich narrative text, Hoffman and McCoy offer a window into life inside the prison that has much to teach us about a critical moment in US prison history, as the book marks the eve of mass incarceration and the prison boom that would reshape and expand the reaches of the carceral state."—Nicole R. Fleetwood, professor of American studies, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
"Nearly forty years after its original publication, Concrete Mama remains one of the most powerful accounts of life, power, and resistance behind bars. This timely edition, with an insightful new introduction by historian and activist Dan Berger, is essential reading for all of us."—Elizabeth Hinton, author of From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America
|University of Washington Press|