Chris Hedges with Mickey Huff : A KPFA Zoom Event
OUR CLASS, Trauma and Transformation in an American Prison
With the force of an Old Testament prophet Chris Hedges has denounced with righteous eloquence the unjust distribution of wealth in this country, decrying the moral decay of powerful elites. His latest book, Our Class, lays bare the cruelty of the American penal system.
Since 2013 Hedges has taught courses in the college degree program offered by Rutgers University at East Jersey State Prison and other state prisons. Having read a number of plays with Hedges, his incarcerated students wrote a play of their own, Caged, which ran for a month in 2018 to sold out audiences at the Passage Theater in Trenton, New Jersey.
Our Class is a chronicle of a remarkable creative process, exploring the artistic and personal discoveries that emerged. In this immensely readable and moving work, Hedges brings to life the remarkable stories of the incarcerated men, who speak for themselves, revealing with candor their struggles to live lives of dignity and purpose.
“This book could change everything . . . . It could make graspable why today’s prisons are contemporary slave plantations. I couldn’t put it down and I tried.”
– Alice Walker
“Raw and intimate. . . . Combining searing, well-informed critiques of the U.S. criminal justice system with sympathetic character profiles and inspirational accounts of intellectual and emotional breakthroughs, this is a powerful look at how creative expression can provide ‘a taste of freedom.’” – Publishers Weekly
Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, a foreign correspondent for fifteen years working for The New York Times as bureau chief in the Middle East and the Balkans. He has a Masters of Divinity from Harvard University and is the author of many books, including War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, a National Book Critics Circle finalist, and Empire of Illusion; Death of the Liberal Class; Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt; Wages of Rebellion, Unspeakable; and America, The Farewell Tour. He has taught at Columbia, New York University, and Princeton. He currently writes for Truthdig.
Mickey Huff is director of Project Censored and president of the nonprofit Media Freedom Foundation. He has edited or co-edited ten annual volumes of Censored and is currently professor of social science and history at Diablo Valley College. He is producer and co-host of the Project Censored Show, a weekly syndicated public affairs program aired over KPFA Radio and fifty community radio stations.