Cover image for No more prisons
No more prisons
Wimsatt, William Upski.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
[New York?] : Soft Skull, [1999?]
Physical Description:
160 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
"Urban life, homeschooling, hip-hop leadership, the cool rich kids movement, a hitchkiker's guide to community organizing, and why philanthropy is the greatest art form of the 21st century."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV9276.5 .W56 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Winner of the 2000 Firecracker Alternative Book Award for Best Book, Politics.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Following the successful release of his first self-published book (Bomb the Suburbs), Wimsatt finds more issues to rant about in his latest collection of essays, some of which have appeared in such publications as the Utne Reader and the New Haven Advocate. In some of his most lucid writing, the self-proclaimed "cool rich kid" takes on the American penal system and its emphasis on punishment at the expense of hope and rehabilitation. However, much of that section's impact is lost when Wimsatt suddenly turns guru: "For every road and zoo and gated community and fence and lock and alarm system and prison we build, we are installing another prison cell in our hearts." In "Homeschooling and Self-Education," he tries for the anarchistic, mocking tone that yippies Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman made famous in the late 1960s, charging that American education fosters a host of maladies, including passivity, dullness, eating disorders and self-hatred. His scorn for white class privilege, greed and the "sterility" of suburbia surfaces in several of his more challenging short pieces, notably in an informative interview with David Rusk, the former mayor of Albuquerque, N. Mex. The interviews with various activists and politicos that dot the book are often more thought-provoking than the pat sarcasm in Wimsatt's tirades against the enemies of hip-hop and socially responsible philanthropy. Irreverent, occasionally hilarious, but distracting in its obsession with the artistic shortcomings of his previous book, Wimsatt's new work offers a strange, affecting glimpse into the head of a Gen-X cultural maverick. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Wimsatt's (Bomb the Suburbs) short, acerbic, solution-oriented essays recall the Sixties countercultural movementÄbut with a Generation X sensibility. His new book recounts his evolution from idealistic urban wanderer/graffiti writer to community organizer and full-fledged writer. He chose his title to promote a hip-hop CD of the same title produced by the Prison Moratorium, a nonprofit organization supporting young activists working to reverse the alarming expansion of our demoralizing "prison industry." Wimsatt thinks that Generation X could surpass the Sixties generation in effectiveness. What is needed, he argues, is political youth organizations with "hyper-grassroots" involvement using pop culture innovations such as hip-hop to raise consciousness. His zany writing is a refreshing voice for Generations X-style activism.ÄChogollah Maroufi, California State Univ., Los Angeles (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

All My Hats at Oncep. 1
What I Wantp. 4
Why Are All Your Friends in Prison?p. 7
Why We Love Prisonsp. 10
I. A Hitchhiker's Guide to Community Organizing
Aren't You Tired of Having the Same Hairdo as Every Other Ghetto Bitch?p. 14
A Book for People Who Don't Usually Readp. 15
Not Just a Book-It's a Planp. 18
Bomb the Ghettosp. 19
The Bet With Americap. 20
Hitchhiking as Sportp. 21
The Value of a Ghetto Educationp. 23
The Most Feared Neighborhoods in Americap. 24
What Bet? Which America?p. 26
Selling Bomb the Suburbs in the Suburbsp. 29
Publishing Industry Motherfuckersp. 31
How Bomb the Suburbs Blew Up in My Facep. 33
My Impossible Dreamp. 34
Triple Consciousnessp. 37
II. The Cool Rich Kids Movement
How Break-dancing Got Me Into Philanthropyp. 40
In Defense of Rich Kidsp. 42
The Cool Rich People's Conferencep. 44
The Most Effective Thing You Ever Dop. 47
Money Talks. So Can She: An Interview With Tracy Hewatp. 51
III. Homeschooling and Self-Education
Schoolaholics Anonymous: How to Overcome Your Addiction to Schoolp. 58
The University of Planet Earthp. 59
The Unschooling Movementp. 62
That's Fine for Middle-Class White Kids Like You, But My Children Need a High School Diplomap. 66
The Black Homeschooling Movementp. 69
A Gourmet Guide to Self-Educationp. 76
The Self-Education Foundationp. 79
IV. Urban Life VS. Suburban Sprawl
Why I Love My Neighborhoodp. 82
The Basketball Kidnappingsp. 83
Suburban Planningp. 87
Cities and Suburbs Unite! An Interview With David Ruskp. 88
A City-Suburb Coalition? An Interview With Myron Orfieldp. 91
A Wicked Civilization: An Interview With James Howard Kunstlerp. 94
Prisons and Gated Communities: How Our Fear of Crime Is Killing Usp. 98
V. Hip-Hop Leadership
Who's Really Saving Our Cities? (It's Not Who You Think)p. 104
Hip-Hop as Double-Edged Swordp. 105
Innovative Solutions to Urban Problemsp. 107
Non-Profit Meets Hip-Hopp. 108
We Are the People We're Savingp. 110
The Out-of-Pocket Sectorp. 112
Dissed by the Do-Goodersp. 113
How to Work With the Hip-Hop Generationp. 114
Master of Combinations: An Interview With Rha Goddessp. 117
The Millionaire Who Couldn't Read: An Interview With John Paynep. 124
VI. The Greatest art Form of the 21st Century
Why Philanthropy Wasn't Much of an Art Form in the 20th Centuryp. 132
A Hitchhiker's Guide to Community Organizingp. 133
Why Isn't There a List of Youth Activists?p. 134
Certain Things You Can't Provep. 136
Why Philanthropy Will Be the Greatest Art Form of the 21st Centuryp. 137
The Art of Philanthropyp. 139
VII. Conclusions
No More Prisons, More of Everything Elsep. 144
The Organizations We Needp. 151
Why You Need to Start Your Own Organizationp. 153
The Joy of Organizingp. 154
Author's Acknowledgements: Why I'm Not in Prison