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"Denis Wood's Soft Time in a Hard Place is a wonderful book, well written, personal, thoughtful, honest, provocative. His surprising insistence that he enjoyed his time in prison undermines the expectations and clichés most people associate with incarceration. In the process he turns what might have been a nightmare into a forceful affirmation of humanity and a stirring indictment of the society which has come to rely so heavily on institutions like prisons."
—H. Bruce Franklin, John Cotton Dana Professor Emeritus of English and American Studies at Rutgers University and editor of Prison Writings in 20th Century America

"Allow me to commend the author for courageously sharing his experiences in the criminal justice system. The book offers readers an in-depth look into the correctional apparatus from the perspective of someone who (in my view) should not have been incarcerated, much like many of those behind bars. And it falls into a genre containing works that are largely autobiographical in approach but offer key social, cultural, and political commentaries on the American criminal justice system. Wood's ideas are accessible, the book is written clearly, and the work is interesting to read. Soft Time in a Hard Place should contribute to a much-needed debate over the purpose and utility of incarceration."
—Michael Welch, Professor of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University and author of Escape to Prison: Penal Tourism & the Pull of Punishment

"Soft Time in a Hard Place is a highly readable, more-or-less chronological narrative of Wood's life as a prisoner, revealing his activities, emotions, reflections, dealings with other inmates and his guardians, and, above all, his thoughts concerning the American penal system and the larger lessons we can draw from its nature and the shortcomings of American society and government in general. In sum, this is an important, well-written, and highly original work that will have quite an impact on a general readership."
—Wilbur Zelinsky, Professor of Geography Emeritus at Pennsylvania State University and author of The Cultural Geography of the United States




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