Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy

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WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE IN HISTORY 
WINNER OF THE 2017 BANCROFT PRIZE

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST * LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE FINALIST * NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK FOR 2016 * NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE BOSTON GLOBENEWSWEEKKIRKUS, AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

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)

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About the author

HEATHER ANN THOMPSON is an award-winning historian at the University of Michigan. Her most recent book, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, won the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Bancroft Prize, the Ridenhour Book Prize, and the J. Willard Hurst Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among other accolades. She is also the author of Whose Detroit?: Politics, Labor, and Race in a Modern American City and the editor of Speaking Out: Activism and Protest in the 1960s and 1970s. She served on a National Academy of Sciences blue-ribbon panel that studied the causes and consequences of mass incarceration in the United States and has given congressional staff briefings on the subject. She has written on the history of mass incarceration and its current impact for The New York Times, Time, The Atlantic, Salon, Newsweek, NBC, Dissent, New Labor Forum, and The Huffington Post, as well as for various top scholarly publications.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Vintage
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Published on
Aug 23, 2016
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Pages
752
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ISBN
9781101871324
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / 20th Century
Law / Criminal Law / General
Political Science / Law Enforcement
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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America's urbanites have engaged in many tumultuous struggles for civil and worker rights since the Second World War. In Whose Detroit?, Heather Ann Thompson focuses in detail on the struggles of Motor City residents during the 1960s and early 1970s and finds that conflict continued to plague the inner city and its workplaces even after Great Society liberals committed themselves to improving conditions.Using the contested urban center of Detroit as a model, Thompson assesses the role of such upheaval in shaping the future of America's cities. She argues that the glaring persistence of injustice and inequality led directly to explosions of unrest in this period. Thompson finds that unrest as dramatic as that witnessed during Detroit's infamous riot of 1967 by no means doomed the inner city, nor in any way sealed its fate. The politics of liberalism continued to serve as a catalyst for both polarization and radical new possibilities and Detroit remained a contested, and thus politically vibrant, urban center.Thompson's account of the post-World War II fate of Detroit casts new light on contemporary urban issues, including white flight, police brutality, civic and shop floor rebellion, labor decline, and the dramatic reshaping of the American political order. Throughout, the author tells the stories of real events and individuals, including James Johnson, Jr., who, after years of suffering racial discrimination in Detroit's auto industry, went on trial in 1971 for the shooting deaths of two foremen and another worker at a Chrysler plant.Bringing the labor movement into the context of the literature of Sixties radicalism, Whose Detroit? integrates the history of the 1960s into the broader political history of the postwar period. Urban, labor, political, and African-American history are blended into Thompson's comprehensive portrayal of Detroit's reaction to pressures felt throughout the nation. With deft attention to the historical background and preoccupations of Detroit's residents, Thompson has written a biography of an entire city at a time of crisis.
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • The acclaimed memoir about fathers and sons, a legacy of loss, and, ultimately, healing—one of The New York Times Book Review’s ten best books of the year, winner of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize

When Hisham Matar was a nineteen-year-old university student in England, his father went missing under mysterious circumstances. Hisham would never see him again, but he never gave up hope that his father might still be alive. Twenty-two years later, he returned to his native Libya in search of the truth behind his father’s disappearance. The Return is the story of what he found there.

The Pulitzer Prize citation hailed The Return as “a first-person elegy for home and father.” Transforming his personal quest for answers into a brilliantly told universal tale of hope and resilience, Matar has given us an unforgettable work with a powerful human question at its core: How does one go on living in the face of unthinkable loss?

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY 
Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Guardian • Financial Times

“A tale of mighty love, loyalty and courage. It simply must be read.”—The Spectator (U.K.)

“Wise and agonizing and thrilling to read.”—Zadie Smith

“[An] eloquent memoir . . . at once a suspenseful detective story about a writer investigating his father’s fate . . . and a son’s efforts to come to terms with his father’s ghost, who has haunted more than half his life by his absence.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“This outstanding book . . . roves back and forth in time with a freedom that conceals the intricate precision of its art.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Truly remarkable . . . a book with a profound faith in the consolations of storytelling . . . a testament to [Matar’s] father, his family and his country.”—The Daily Telegraph (U.K.)

“The Return is a riveting book about love and hope, but it is also a moving meditation on grief and loss. . . . Likely to become a classic.”—Colm Tóibín

“Matar’s evocative writing and his early traumas call to mind Vladimir Nabokov.”—The Washington Post

“Utterly riveting.”—The Boston Globe

“A moving, unflinching memoir of a family torn apart.”—Kazuo Ishiguro, The Guardian

“Beautiful . . . The Return, for all the questions it cannot answer, leaves a deep emotional imprint.”—Newsday

“A masterful memoir, a searing meditation on loss, exile, grief, guilt, belonging, and above all, family. It is, as well, a study of the shaping—and breaking—of the bonds between fathers and sons. . . . This is writing of the highest quality.”—The Sunday Times (U.K.)
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