Books: Stir-Crazy

KIND AND USUAL PUNISHMENT

by JESSICA MITFORD

340 pages. Knopf. $7.95.

The funeral directors of America, still smarting over The American Way of Death, must now line up behind the nation's wardens in the goodly company of those well stung by Jessica Mitford. "Our great 'know-it-all' on prisons," the American Association of Wardens and Superintendents has muttered through its collectively clenched teeth at the author of what might be subtitled The American Way of Injustice.

The latest Mitford gadflight began three years ago as a quick assignment for the American Civil Liberties Union. But by...

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