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In 1967, Danny Lyon drove from his home in New York to Huntsville, Texas, where, over the course of 14 months, he visited and photographed seven penitentiaries.

The director of the Texas Department of Corrections granted Lyon full access to the prisons, which housed a range of inmates: Some, like the Walls and Ramsey, were for the general population. Others, like Ellis, were where the most dangerous inmates lived. The resulting images, a poignant, personal look at the daily lives of the inmates, resulted in a book, Conversations With the Dead, that was first published in 1971; after nearly 45 years out of print, last month Phaidon published a new edition of the book.

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