Date and Time
Jan 29, 2023 6:00 pm
14th & V
CARS AND JAILS | A Busboys and Poets Books Presentation
Join us to discuss freedom dreams, debt and carcerality.
Julie Livingston and Andrew Ross' new book is written in a lively, accessible fashion and drawing extensively on interviews with people who were formerly incarcerated, Cars and Jails examines how the costs of car ownership and use are deeply enmeshed with the U.S. prison system. American consumer lore has long held the automobile to be a “freedom machine,” consecrating the mobility of a free people. Yet, paradoxically, the car also functions at the cross-roads of two great systems of entrapment and immobility– the American debt economy and the carceral state.
Cars and Jails investigates this paradox, showing how auto debt, traffic fines, over-policing, and automated surveillance systems work in tandem to entrap and criminalize poor people. The authors describe how racialization and poverty take their toll on populations with no alternative, in a country poorly served by public transport, to taking out loans for cars and exposing themselves to predatory and often racist policing.
Looking skeptically at the frothy promises of the “mobility revolution,” Livingston and Ross close with provocative ideas for overhauling transportation justice, traffic policing, and auto-financing.
Julie and Andrew will be joining the Busboys stage for a celebration event and book discussion.This event is free and open to all. Our program begins at 6:00 pm, and will be followed by an audience Q&A. Copies of CARS AND JAILS will be available for purchase before and during the event. Please note that this event will NOT be livestreamed.
We ask that guests RSVP in order to receive direct updates about the event from Busboys and Poets Books.
Julie Livingston is Silver Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and History at New York University. Her previous books include Self-devouring Growth: a Planetary Parable as Told from Southern Africa; Improvising Medicine: An African Oncology Ward in an Emerging Cancer Epidemic; and Debility and the Moral Imagination in Botswana. The recipient of numerous awards and prizes, in 2013 Livingston was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.
Andrew Ross is a social activist and professor at NYU, where he teaches in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis and the Prison Education Program. A contributor to the Guardian, the New York Times, The Nation, and Al Jazeera, he is the author or editor of twenty-five books, including, most recently, Sunbelt Blues: The Failure of American Housing.