Blood in the Water

Blood in the Water

The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy

Book - 2016
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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. 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 45-year fight for justice: prisoners, former hostages, families of the victims, lawyers and judges, and state officials and members of law enforcement. This book is the first full account of one of the most important civil rights stories of the last century.--Adapted from dust jacket.
"Historian Heather Ann Thompson offers the first definitive telling of the Attica prison uprising, the state's violent response, and the victims' decades-long quest for justice--in time for the forty-fifth anniversary of the events"--
Publisher: New York : Pantheon, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780375423222
Branch Call Number: 365.9 THOMPSON
Characteristics: xvii, 724 pages : illustrations, map ; 25 cm


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Jun 17, 2017

It's undeniable they used excessive force in retaking the prison.. I wonder if it was to send a message to other prisons not to riot or this will happen to them too. But they clearly went too far with excessive firepower.

athompson10 Feb 03, 2017

Extremely well written and researched. I had to stop halfway through because I got overwhelmed by the relentlessness of the racism, brutality and sheer lies perpetuated by the state during the rebellion, the re-taking of the prison and the aftermath. You read this book with a sense of dread because you know the gross miscarriage of justice that takes place. I will finish this at some point when my stomach is stronger.

Dec 26, 2016

Pg 383

Dec 04, 2016

Excellent research that I am sure was a struggle to find since much of it was purposely hidden by those that wanted a cover-up.

Gives a good accounting of not just what happened inside the prison, but the actions and reactions of the chain of command and also the families of those involved.

I found it particularly curious that there was a riot going on and in some parts of the prison (such as admin.) they had not a clue. There were terrifying scenarios but also examples of genuine kindness between staff/guards and inmates.

A large book but the fact that it's so compelling makes it a fast and interesting read.

Oct 25, 2016

This reads like fiction..very good fiction, but if it were, you wouldn't believe it.
I could only put this harrowing story down,if I fell asleep.
Every page, every account seared through me.
The Attica 'riot' is a story of corruption ,torture and mass murder.
The guards and police sent in to free the hostages killed them,and then went on a gratuitous sweep of unbelievable barbarism.
And most of them got away with it -right up to Rockefeller.


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