"This is a shrewd, moving and terrifying book. It describes the intensifying role of ideology (and the urge to civil action) in western prisons, showing powerfully how this development brings with it both ‘unprecedented security challenges’ and ‘exceptional possibilities for progressive reform’. Hamm’s meticulous research, on trends in prisoner radicalization in American correctional institutions, shows that America is creating its own terrorists, in its failing prisons."
—Alison Liebling, co-author of The Prison Officer
“The Spectacular Few is a refreshing and important work, taking the apparently too-uncommon steps of talking to radical prisoners and performing statistical analyses on samples of radicals to test theories and measure practices.”
—Anthropology Review Database
"Hamm's argument is intelligent, compassionate, and well argued....Hamm presents and argues his case well, and this book deserves a wide audience."
—Social Forces, Francis Dodsworth, Open University
“It is a must read for anyone interested in contemporary prison sociology radicalization, terrorism, and the fractured world we live in, as well as the changing landscape of prisons internationally. Hamm dedicates his book to John Irwin, an indication of his sociological spirit, and his deep immersion in the kinds of questions outstanding penologists ask. The kinds of questions Hamm is addressing require precisely that sociological spirit.”
—Crime, Law, and Social Change
“Mark Hamm is, without doubt, the world’s leading expert on prison radicalization. Based on decades of research, this book presents a nuanced and sophisticated picture. Beautifully written, it is the most complete, and the most empirically rigorous, account of this phenomenon to date. A must read for anyone interested in homegrown radicalization.”
—Peter Neumann, author of Old and New Terrorism
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