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The study of prisons brought Tocqueville to America.

Prison Area, Independence Valley

For Rob Kroes, it was rather the other way around: it was knowledge of American culture that brought him back to America and face to face with a couple of highway signs, Tocquevillian in their portent, that invited motorists to exit from Interstate 80 in Nevada toward a place called Independence Valley and to keep their eyes open for a ‘Prison Area’. In this collection of essays, Kroes invites us to take these two signs seriously for their capacity to deepen our insights into America’s cultural contradictions.

Prison Area, Independence Valley: American Paradoxes in Political Life and Popular Culture


  • Rob Kroes
  • Dartmouth: Darmouth College Press, 2015
  • ISBN: 978 16 116 8729 3