Cover

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Half Title, Series Page, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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p. v

Illustrations

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p. vi

Maps and Tables

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: Conquest and Incarceration

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pp. 1-15

Mass incarceration is mass elimination. That is the punch line of this book. I had trouble arriving at such an unsettling idea, but the collection of two centuries of evidence documenting the long rise of incarceration in Los Angeles left me no other interpretation. Incarceration operates as a means of purging, removing, ...

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1. An Eliminatory Option

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pp. 16-44

Nocuma held the world in his hands and created everything within it: the animals, trees, land, and seas full of fish. Since the world was in constant motion, Nocuma placed a small black rock in the middle to hold it in its place. Then he grabbed a chunk of clay and made man (Ejoni) and woman (Áe). ...

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2. Hobos in Heaven

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pp. 45-63

In October 1908, Lieutenant Charles Dixon of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Jails Division was ready to show how the LAPD was finally going to end decades of racial crisis in the city. His work crew, a chain gang of incarcerated men, had constructed a low-slung facility sited along the Los Angeles River and beneath the Elysian Hills—a “stockade,” ...

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3. Not Imprisonment in a Legal Sense

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pp. 64-91

Thomas J. Geary was portly and good humored. Once, when serving as a congressman from Santa Rosa, California (Democrat, 1890–94), he broke a tense moment by taking an obstreperous colleague in his arms and dandling him until the whole U.S. House of Representatives roared in laughter.1 ...

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4. Scorpion's Tale

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pp. 92-130

On January 16, 1904, A. V. Lomeli hustled down the dusty streets of Laredo, Texas, and burst into the Western Union office. Nervous, he ordered the attendant to rush an encrypted telegram to Mexico City. With dots, dashes, and mixed-up letters tumbling across the wire, Lomeli, the local Mexican consul, warned his superiors in Mexico City that trouble had arrived north of the border. ...

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5. Caged Birds

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pp. 131-157

By 1930, when Mexicans woke for work in the borderlands, they flipped on their radios and tuned in to hear Pedro J. González and his band, Los Madrugadores (The Early Risers). A popular radio host and bandleader who broadcast in the early morning hours from Los Angeles, California, Pedro belted out corridos, ...

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6. Justice for Samuel Faulkner

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pp. 158-194

On April 24, 1927, two Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers, Maceo Bruce Sheffield and Frank Randolph, conducted a liquor raid at 1358 East Fifty-First Street, the home of Clara Harris. They kicked in the door and bulldozed through the living room and into the kitchen, finding nothing but a startled Harris and some of her friends. ...

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Conclusion: Upriver in the Age of Mass Incarceration

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pp. 195-198

During the late twentieth century, the United States embarked upon a historically unprecedented and globally unparalleled prison boom.1 The trigger for this boom, historians generally agree, was the 1965 Watts Rebellion, as well as the tumble of urban revolts and Indigenous insurgencies to follow, ...

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The Rebel Archive

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pp. 199-220

The documents below highlight the thoughts, analyses, and actions of rebels now battling elimination and incarceration in Los Angeles. These documents do not reflect every voice or organization at work in the city. Not by a long shot. But they do make one thing very clear: ...

Notes

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pp. 221-268

Bibliography

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pp. 269-290

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 291-292

This book was a beast to write. I am thankful for the team that helped me wrestle it from the archives. On that team was a wonderful set of student research assistants, including Daniel Lynch, Elisabeth Pettygrove, Cindy Nguyen, Samantha Guadalupe Andrade Urdapilleta, Trent Sneed, Araceli Centanino, Devin McCutchen, Joanna Wall, Alfred Flores, ...

Index

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pp. 293-301