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Instrument of the State, A Century of Music in Louisiana’s Angola Prison- by Professor Benjamin Harbert.

In his new book, Instrument of the State: A Century of Music in Louisiana’s Angola Prison (Oxford University Press, 2023), Georgetown music professor Ben Harbert radically expands Angola Prison’s musical and political legacy, dating back to its prehistory as a slave plantation. He writes overlooked musicians back into America’s musical history—musicians whose practice is intertwined with local administrators and the nation’s politics. Harbert’s book launch talk sounds out the intersection of incarceration, politics, and musical change in the turbulent mid-twentieth-century American South, spotlighting jazz’s impact on a notorious prison. Get your copy here.