How rare and refreshing to see a passionate philosophy professor en-gaged in serious and substantive dialogue ssith challenging and talented fellow citizens behind bars! Drew Leder has taught?and been taught by? incarcerated men in Baltimore for many years. He is a kind of latter day Socrates who embodies and enacts an intellectual spirituality that critically questions and lovingly serves others in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
When I visited Professor Leder?s course and lectured in the prison, I was struck by the genuine camaraderie and the intense intellectuality of the class. Martin Buber would ha e approved of our dialogues?dynamic I-Thou exchanges that touched heart, mind, and soul. Hois I wish such .
high-quality pedagogical experiences could be had in schools and prisons across this nation and world! Yet Professor Leder nm er lost sight of the
different plight and predicament of those outside and inside the oldest prison in America. His class promotes an intellectual and spiritual free-
dom that even bars cannot contain, et these bars still divide, degrade, demean, and dishonor. The delicate dialectic of personal responsibility
and societal accountability, of individual choice and limited social options, informed our philosophical discussions of evil, injustice, and social misery.
This book is a timely lifting of the veil on the human doings and suf 20 ferings within one of the fastest grossing industries in America?a prison
industry that literally warehouses disproportionately black and brown peoples due mainly to social neglect, poverty, lovelessness, inequality, and sheer icy indifference to the suffering of the most u)nerable in our society. Professor Leder?s ability to accent the profoundly human dimension of his intellectual dialogues stands in stark contrast to the stereoty pical perceptions of prisoners rendered invisible in our midst.
In this way, this is philosophy at its best?the courageous love and quest for wisdom that sheds light and enlightens souls in the heart of American darkness.
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]