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

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

by Heather Ann Thompson

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Overview

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400078240
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/22/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 752
Sales rank: 56,893
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)

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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Introduction
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Blood in the Water"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Heather Ann Thompson.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS
 
Introduction: State Secrets xiii
 
PART I THE TINDERBOX
Frank “Big Black” Smith 3
1 Not So Greener Pastures 5
2 Responding to Resistance 18
3 Voices from Auburn 22
4 Knowledge Is Power 28
5 Playing by the Rules 31
6 Back and Forth 35
7 End of the Line 38
 
PART II POWER AND POLITICS UNLEASHED
Michael Smith 43
8 Talking Back 45
9 Burning Down the House 50
10 Reeling and Reacting 60
11 Order Out of Chaos 64
12 What’s Going On 71
13 Into the Night 83
14 A New Day Dawns 89
 
PART III THE SOUND BEFORE THE FURY
Tom Wicker 101
15 Getting Down to Business 103
16 Dreams and Nightmares 116
17 On the Precipice 139
18 Deciding Disaster 153
 
PART IV RETRIBUTION AND REPRISALS UNIMAGINED
Tony Strollo 161
19 Chomping at the Bit 163
20 Standing Firm 169
21 No Mercy 178
22 Spinning Disaster 193
23 And the Beat Goes On 204
 
PART V RECKONINGS AND REACTIONS
Robert Douglass 223
24 Speaking Up 225
25 Stepping Back 232
26 Funerals and Fallout 242
27 Prodding and Probing 251
28 Which Side Are You On? 256
29 Ducks in a Row 266
 
PART VI INQUIRIES AND DIVERSIONS
Anthony Simonetti 271
30 Digging More Deeply 273
31 Foxes in the Hen House 287
32 Stick and Carrot 294
33 Seeking Help 299
34 Indictments All Around 304
 
PART VII JUSTICE ON TRIAL
Ernest Goodman 311
35 Mobilizing and Maneuvering 313
36 A House Divided 321
37 Laying the Groundwork 327
38 Testing the Waters 334
39 Going for Broke 340
40 Evening the Score 363
41 A Long Journey Ahead 388
 
PART VIII BLOWING THE WHISTLE
Malcolm Bell 401
42 Joining the Team 403
43 Protecting the Police 418
44 Smoking Guns 425
45 Going Public 434
46 Investigating the Investigation 442
47 Closing the Book 452
 
PART IX DAVID AND GOLIATH
Elizabeth Fink 457
48 It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over 459
49 Shining the Light on Evil 466
50 Delay Tactics 479
51 The Price of Blood 485
52 Deal with the Devil 498
 
PART X A FINAL FIGHT
Deanne Quinn Miller 507
53 Family Fury 509
54 Manipulated and Outmaneuvered 517
55 Biting the Hand 528
56 Getting Heard 533
57 Waiting Game 542
58 A Hollow Victory 550
Epilogue: Prisons and Power 558
 
Acknowledgments 573
Notes 579
Index 685

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