The Nobel Prize–winning social critic examines the absurdities and moral indignities of modern incarceration in this classic work.
Best known for his theatrical works of biting social satire, George Bernard Shaw was also a committed political activist who, at various times, found himself in conflict with the law. Though he was never arrested, Shaw was deeply concerned with the experience of imprisonment and its debilitating effects on inmates.
In this polemical study of the contemporary prison system, Shaw dismantles many of the standard arguments for harsh prison sentences. He argues that the impulse for retribution is at odds with the goal of reform, and that prison often fosters greater criminality rather than acting as a deterrent.