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 Globe, Newsweek, Kirkus, 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 39 men - hostages as well as prisoners - and severely wounded more than 100 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 45-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.
About the Author
Heather Ann Thompson is Professor of History at the University of Michigan. She is the Pulitzer- and Bancroft-winning author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Time, The Atlantic, Salon, Dissent, New Labor Forum, and The Huffington Post.
Erin Bennett is an Earphones Award-winning narrator and a stage actress who played Carlie Roberts in the BBC radio drama Torchwood: Submission. She can be heard on several video games. Regional theater appearances include the Intiman, Pasadena Playhouse, Arizona Theatre Company, A Noise Within, Laguna Playhouse, and the Getty Villa. She trained at Boston University and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.