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Blood in the Water : The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy
by Heather Ann Thompson


Overview - A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK FOR 2016
A NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
A PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
THE FIRST DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF THE INFAMOUS 1971 ATTICA PRISON UPRISING, THE STATE S VIOLENT RESPONSE, AND THE VICTIMS DECADES-LONG QUEST FOR JUSTICE

On September 9, 1971, nearly 1,300 prisoners took over the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York to protest years of mistreatment.
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More About Blood in the Water by Heather Ann Thompson
 
 
 
Overview
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK FOR 2016
A NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
A PUBLISHERS WEEKLYBEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
THE FIRST DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF THE INFAMOUS 1971 ATTICA PRISON UPRISING, THE STATE S VIOLENT RESPONSE, AND THE VICTIMS DECADES-LONG QUEST FOR JUSTICE

On September 9, 1971, nearly 1,300 prisoners took over the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York to protest years of mistreatment. Holding guards and civilian employees hostage, the prisoners negotiated with officials for improved conditions during the four long days and nights that followed.
On September 13, the state abruptly sent hundreds of heavily armed troopers and correction officers to retake the prison by force. Their gunfire killed thirty-nine men hostages as well as prisoners and severely wounded more than one hundred others. In the ensuing hours, weeks, and months, troopers and officers brutally retaliated against the prisoners. And, ultimately, New York State authorities prosecuted only the prisoners, never once bringing charges against the officials involved in the retaking and its aftermath and neglecting to provide support to the survivors and the families of the men who had been killed.
Drawing from more than a decade of extensive research, historian Heather Ann Thompson sheds new light on every aspect of the uprising and its legacy, giving voice to all those who took part in this forty-five-year fight for justice: prisoners, former hostages, families of the victims, lawyers and judges, and state officials and members of law enforcement. Blood in the Water is the searing and indelible account of one of the most important civil rights stories of the last century.
(With black-and-white photos throughout)"

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780375423222
  • ISBN-10: 0375423222
  • Publisher: Pantheon Books
  • Publish Date: August 2016
  • Page Count: 752


Related Categories

Books > History > United States - State & Local - Middle Atlantic
Books > History > United States - 20th Century
Books > Social Science > Penology

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-08-29
  • Reviewer: Staff

Thompson (Whose Detroit?), a University of Michigan historian with expertise in mass incarceration, brilliantly exposes the realities of the Attica prison uprising, in which 43 prisoners and guards were killed. Writing with cinematic clarity from meticulously sourced material, Thompson describes the uprising and its causes as well as the violent retaking of the prison grounds by police and correction officers. These events form the backdrop for the decades-long tale of New York State's cynical, politically driven prosecutions of inmates caught in the uprising, and the state's parallel effort to suppress attempts to expose the criminal conduct of law enforcement during and after the suppression of the rebellion. Thompson unmasks the government misconduct that delayed reparations for both inmates and correction officer hostages who were killed or wounded by law enforcement during the chaotic events. The excruciating detail underscores the dangers of governmental abuse of power. As the long drama unfolds many heroes arise, including members of the truth-seeking press and the lawyers who doggedly helped the unpopular inmates to secure a $12 million settlement. The villains include venal prosecutors and politicians who engaged in a classic cover-up. Thompson's superb and thorough study serves as a powerful tale of the search for justice in the face of the abuses of institutional power. (Sept.)

 
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