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The Colonial BastilleA History of Imprisonment in Vietnam, 1862-1940$
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Peter Zinoman

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520224124

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520224124.001.0001

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Prisons and the Colonial Press, 1934–1939

Prisons and the Colonial Press, 1934–1939

(p.240) 8 Prisons and the Colonial Press, 1934–1939
The Colonial Bastille

Peter Zinoman

University of California Press

This chapter examines the relation between colonial prisons and the press in French Indochina during the period from 1934 to 1939. During this period, newspapers featured thousands of stories about overcrowded dormitories, wretched food, filthy living conditions, and the physical brutalization of prison inmates. This vast proliferation of prison coverage provoked public outrage at the colonial administration but it checked the power of prison officials and provided a measure of protection for the inmate population. This chapter suggests that the media coverage of the prison system may be seen as among the earliest and most significant manifestations of civil society in colonial Indochina.

Keywords:   colonial prisons, colonial press, French Indochina, newspapers, colonial administration, inmate population, prison system, civil society

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