“real eye-opener for readers... 10 years’ worth of research... her discovery of records long hidden, her numerous firsthand interviews, and her archival deep-dive... authoritative and thoughtfully composed”
Kirkus Starred Review,July 26, 2016

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Blood in the Water Book Cover

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Book Tour

Detroit, MI
Thursday, September 6
Pages Bookshop
19560 Grand River, Detroit, MI 48223
New York, NY
In conversation with Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Thursday, September 8 6:30 pm
The New York Public Library
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10037
Washington, DC
Politics & Prose
In conversation with Michael Eric Dyson
Thursday, September 13 7:00 pm
5015 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC
New York, NY
In conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates
Thursday, September 15 7:00 pm
Roosevelt House
47-49 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065
Detroit, Mi
In conversation with Toussaint Losier
Thursday, September 17 2:00 pm
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
315 East Warren Ave, Detroit, MI
Ann Arbor, MI
Talk / Q&A
Monday, September 19 7:00 pm
Literati Book Store
124 E Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI
Los Angeles, CA
Talk / Q&A
Friday, September 23
UCLA School of Law
385 Charles E. Young Drive East, 242 Law Building Los Angeles, CA 90095
Lansing, MI
Talk / Q&A
Thursday, September 27 7:00 pm
Schuler’s Books & Music
2820 Towne Center Blvd, Lansing, MI 48912-5614
Washington, DC
In conversation / Moderator TBD
Tuesday, September 29 7:00 pm
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
600 Maryland Ave SW #7048, Washington, DC 20024
New York, NY
Lecture
Tuesday, October 5 (Time TBD)
Baruch College, School of Public Affairs
One Bernard Baruch Way, New York, NY
New York, NY
Talk / Q&A
Thursday, October 6 6:00 pm
New York University
Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
70 Washington Square, New York, NY
Richmond, VA
Book Roundtable
Friday, October 7 (Time TBD)
Association for the Study of African American Life and History
Richmond, VA
Show later

BLOOD in

THE WATER

BLOOD IN THE WATER: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy (Pantheon, August 23, 2016, $35) by Heather Ann Thompson is the first definitive account 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, during the four long days and nights that followed, the inmates negotiated with state officials for improved living conditions. On September 13, the state abruptly ended talks and sent hundreds of heavily armed state troopers and corrections officers to retake the prison by force. In the ensuing gunfire, thirty-nine men were killed—hostages as well as prisoners—and more than one hundred were severely injured. After the prison was secured, troopers and officers brutally retaliated against the prisoners during the weeks that followed.

Thompson offers an overwhelming and damning indictment of how the state of New York—from police on the ground all the way up to Governor Rockefeller’s administration—handled the uprising at Attica. For decades afterward, instead of charging any state employee who had carried out egregious human rights abuses, New York officials prosecuted only the prisoners and failed to provide necessary support to the hostage survivors or to the families of any of the men who’d been killed. Since the day of the retaking of the prison, the state has fought tooth and nail to protect itself and those who committed crimes, ranging from evidence tampering to the outright murder of prisoners. In particular, the state refuses to name the state troopers and correction officers who were known to investigators to have killed prisoners and hostages in the retaking of Attica, and to have tortured and otherwise violently retaliated against those who had managed to survive that assault, and never indicted them.

Despite facing resistance from New York State officials, Thompson spent over ten years researching Attica, working her way through oral histories, letters, newspaper articles, memoirs, and extensive interviews. The most shocking information she uncovered was found in a cache of boxes in a Buffalo, NY courthouse in 2006, which included documents never made public: sealed grand jury transcripts, files from the criminal trials, minutes from secret meetings held by the Governor, and documents from inside the official Attica Investigation. As a result, BLOOD IN THE WATER reveals, for the first time, the crimes committed during the uprising and its aftermath, who committed them, and how they were covered up.

Thompson thus sheds new light on one of the most important civil rights stories of the last century, exploring every aspect of the uprising and its legacy from the perspectives of all of those involved in this long fight for justice: the prisoners, the state officials, the lawyers on both sides, the state troopers and corrections officers, and the families of the slain men.

Published to coincide with the forty-fifth anniversary of the uprising, BLOOD IN THE WATER finally reveals the full story of what really happened at Attica and will completely reshape our understanding of this historic event.

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Please direct all inquires to

Jessica Purcell,

Alfred A. Knopf 1745 Broadway, 13th floor
New York, NY 10019
E: jpurcell@penguinrandomhouse.com
T: (212) 572-2082
BLOOD IN THE WATER

is available online at the following sites:

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Blood in the Water Book Cover

Dr. Heather Ann Thompson

The University of Michigan

HEATHER ANN THOMPSON is an award-winning historian at the University of Michigan. She has written on the history of mass incarceration, as well as its current impact, for The New York Times, Time, The Atlantic, Salon, Dissent, New Labor Forum, and The Huffington Post. She served on a National Academy of Sciences blue-ribbon panel that studied the causes and consequences of mass incarcerations in the United States and has given Congressional staff briefings on this subject. Thompson is also the author of Whose Detroit?: Politics, Labor, and Race in a Modern American City and editor of Speaking Out: Activism and Protest in the 1960s and 1970s.


www.heatherannthompson.com