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Assata: An Autobiography (Lawrence Hill & Co.) [Paperback]

Assata Shakur , Angela Davis , Lennox S. Hinds
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jan 1987 Lawrence Hill & Co.
On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka JoAnne Chesimard) lay in a hospital, close to death, handcuffed to her bed, while local, state, and federal police attempted to question her about the shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that had claimed the life of a white state trooper. Long a target of J. Edgar Hoover's campaign to defame, infiltrate, and criminalize Black nationalist organizations and their leaders, Shakur was incarcerated for four years prior to her conviction on flimsy evidence in 1977 as an accomplice to murder. This intensely personal and political autobiography belies the fearsome image of JoAnne Chesimard long projected by the media and the state. With wit and candor, Assata Shakur recounts the experiences that led her to a life of activism and portrays the strengths, weaknesses, and eventual demise of Black and White revolutionary groups at the hand of government officials. The result is a signal contribution to the literature about growing up Black in America that has already taken its place alongside The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the works of Maya Angelou. Two years after her conviction, Assata Shakur escaped from prison. She was given political asylum by Cuba, where she now resides.

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Assata: An Autobiography (Lawrence Hill & Co.) + Revolutionary Suicide (Penguin Classics) (Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions) + Autobiography of Malcolm X
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; New Ed edition (1 Jan 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556520743
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556520747
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 15.5 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 134,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"A deftly written book ... A spellbinding tale." -- The New York Times Book Review "A sober, restrained, but forceful recollection... A must book for those interested in the 'revolutionaries' of the 1960s" -- Chioce "A compelling tale of the impact of white racism on a sensitive and powerful young black woman." -- Library Journal

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This was the best book I have read in my entire life. The way she writes makes you feel as if you are really walking through the corridors of her mind while she tells her horrible and terrifying story of how amerika has not served her the justice she deserves. The way she says things really makes you feel it. This was one of those books that I just could not put down. i reccomend it to all who can handle the way amerika treat Black and third World people.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!! 2 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was the first autobiography I ever read, I have read many since but this is still my number one. Such an inspiring woman!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars important and enjoyable 29 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Assata is a well paced book that is easy to read and enjoyable. She includes some of her own poetry that is relevant to the bigger story. It is well constructed and I can't see anyone being disappointed. At times her story made me cry, but in no way does it try to milk emotion; indeed it is usually understated. The book cleverly and simply alternates between her early childhood and her difficult time in prison, including the string of ridiculous trials. The writing has a ring of the beat generation (like spelling america as amerika) but this adds quaintness to the book and places it neatly in the era in which it was written. My only criticism would be that it could have included more details to produce a really authoritative text, but it isn't that type of book: it's a book about her feelings, her thoughts, her childhood and her progress and development through active socialism, and how she coped with her time in prison. An important and enjoyable book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 17 July 2014
By *bliss
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  129 reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page-turner! 30 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Assata, is an autobiography that travels at a fast pace and it's hard to put down because you will truly anticipate the conclusion.
The book Assata gives great insight into the role that women played in the Black Panther Party and contrary to popular belief the women did not take the back seat.
The book is a journey through Assata's life. As a child she lived with her mother in New York and came down South (Wilmington, North Carolina to be exact) to visit her grandparents in the summer.
In Wilmington--home of the "Wilmington 10" and an 1898 coup d'etat(if you don't know about these events please ask somebody)--she got a first hand view of segregation. It is my opinion that her experiences as a child down South made her aware of the struggle of Black people.
She went through various rebellious phases as a young adult and eventually found her way to the Black Panther Party. From this point forward you begin to see through the eyes of a comrade in th! is movement.
The book deals with her expereinces with COINTELPRO (the U.S. counterintelligence program created to destablize certain civil rights organizations, particularly the BPP) to an incident on a New Jersey turnpike that leaves two highway patrolmen dead.
Although she was sentenced to life in prison, she now resides in Cuba. To find out how she wound up there, I guess you will have to read the book.
Among other reasons, this book continues to be timely and relevant because Assata continues to be a war cry for supporters of tightened sanctions against "Castro's Cuba".
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing 25 Aug 2001
By Marc Lamont Hill - Published on Amazon.com
The autobiography of Assata Shakur ranks among the top of the list of books that citizens of the United States should read. This book shows the development of a young girl victimized by racism and sexism in the Jim Crow South and the "liberal" north into a warrior and freedom fighter. This book provides the reader with a living, breathing example of what happened to the victims of COINTELPRO. The story of her life, struggle, sacrifices, and victory should be as important as The Autobiography of Malcolm X in terms of its affect on future generations. This is a must read for ANYONE interested in understanding the Black Panthers, COINTELPRO, or the dual oppression of being a woman of African descent in the United States.
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courageous Assata 28 Sep 2000
By Tierra Mauhammad - Published on Amazon.com
The book is truly amazing. After reading it you should feel very enlightened (if not already) about the truths of the United States. Assata Shakur went through alot of things as to so many other black leader just for us. I'm a young black girl and I love Assata honestly with my whole heart. The book is tuly excellent I never wanted to put it down. I encourage everyone of every race to read it and to be open minded to the fact that its real. Just read it in the fact that if you have ever been in pain, Assata understands.
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth 30 Mar 2001
By Adia L Sanders - Published on Amazon.com
I felt compelled to write this letter, because this book is how black people in amerika really struggled back in the the late 60's early 70's. As a black young female, I feel our youth today has no idea half of the drama that our ancestors went through. We need to take the time with our children and read the stories of yester year. It may seem harsh at first, but then when they realize the struggles from the past they will appreciate where they are now. I am so glad I read this book. If it wasn't for the brother Common, showing me the light, I don't think I would have ever heard of Assata Shakur. That's what we need, more youth sharing our history; good and bad. We need to look at our for ourselves. Don't be like me at 24 and just now starting to get into my true roots. But better late than never. Peace and blessing.#
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Work of Black Identity 17 Oct 2001
By Bakari Chavanu - Published on Amazon.com
Not nearly enough attention is being given to Assata's autobiography. Like the "Autobiography of Malcolm X", this is a powerfully written book about how an African activist person develops a cultural identity, whereby she pulls off the shackles of internalized racist views she is taught to have of herself and others to become someone who understands her cultural identity and it what it means to love one's self and her people.
This book should be taught to all African students in this country. It not only addresses important themes/issues about White supremacy and police brutality, but also more importantly how culture is a weapon against injustice.
We're lucky that Assata was able to escape the prison of America, for now we have her narrative as a source of inspiration and insight into what it means to develop a sense of self and to side with justice rather injustice.
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