Lord High Executioner: An Unashamed Look at Hangmen, Headsmen, and Their Kind

Open Road Media
5
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A grisly tour of hangings, electrocutions, beheadings—and other state-sanctioned deaths that are part of the long history of the death penalty.

In Lord High Executioner, award-winning writer Howard Engel traces the traditions of capital punishment from medieval England and early Canada to the present-day United States. Throughout “civilized” history, executioners employed on behalf of the kingdom, republic, or dictatorship have beheaded, chopped, stabbed, choked, gassed, electrocuted, or beaten criminals to death—and Engel doesn’t shy away from the gritty details of the executioner’s lifestyle, focusing on the paragons, buffoons, and sadists of the dark profession.
 
Packed with all-too-true stories, from hapless hangings to butchered beheadings, this historically accurate look at the executioner’s gruesome work makes for a thoroughly gripping read.
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About the author

Howard Engel (1931–2019) was born in St. Catharines, Ontario. He was a producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation before emerging as a prolific, award-winning, and much-loved mystery writer, best known for the Benny Cooperman detective novels. After suffering a stroke, Engel developed alexia sine agraphia in 2000, a condition that prevented him from reading without great effort. This, however, did not inhibit his ability to write, and he later penned a memoir about the experience and his recovery called The Man Who Forgot How to Read. Engel was a founder of Crime Writers of Canada, and in 2014, he was the recipient of the organization’s first Grand Master Award. He passed away in 2019 at the age of eighty-eight.
 
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Mar 1, 2016
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781504031493
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Social History
Law / Criminal Law / Sentencing
True Crime / Murder / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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The remarkable journey of an award-winning writer struck with a rare and devastating affliction that prevented him from reading even his own writing
One hot midsummer morning, novelist Howard Engel picked up his newspaper from his front step and discovered he could no longer read it. The letters had mysteriously jumbled themselves into something that looked like Cyrillic one moment and Korean the next. While he slept, Engel had experienced a stroke and now suffered from a rare condition called alexia sine agraphia, meaning that while he could still write, he could no longer read.
Over the next several weeks in hospital and in rehabilitation, Engel discovered that much more was affected than his ability to read. His memory failed him, and even the names of old friends escaped his tongue. At first geography eluded him: he would know that two streets met somewhere in the city, but he couldn't imagine where. Apples and grapefruit now looked the same. When he returned home, he had trouble remembering where things went and would routinely ?nd cans of tuna in the dishwasher and jars of pencils in the freezer.
Despite his disabilities, Engel prepared to face his dilemma. He contacted renowned neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks for advice and visited him in New York City, forging a lasting friendship. He bravely learned to read again. And in the face of tremendous obstacles, he triumphed in writing a new novel.
An absorbing and uplifting story, filled with sly wit and candid insights, The Man Who Forgot How to Read will appeal to anyone fascinated by the mysteries of the mind, on and off the page.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time, as seen in the HBO documentary True Justice

“[Bryan Stevenson’s] dedication to fighting for justice and equality has inspired me and many others and made a lasting impact on our country.”—John Legend

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Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction • Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction • Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award • Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize • Finalist for the Kirkus Reviews Prize • An American Library Association Notable Book

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“As deeply moving, poignant and powerful a book as has been, and maybe ever can be, written about the death penalty.”—The Financial Times

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