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Battle at Alcatraz: A Desperate Attempt to Escape the Rock
One of the bloddiest battles in the history of American prisons occurred at Alcatraz in May 1946, when prisoners staged a breakout, obtaining guns from the gun gallery and taking nine guards hostage. The escape attempt was the cumination of months of methodical planning. But, when a last-minute glitch foiled their escape, inmates shot the hostages in effort to leave no ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by Addicus Books
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Good book and an exciting story. As the son of one of the principals the author has both a unique perspective but an inherent bias too. Having read Six Against the Rock as my first serious book ever (back when I was my sons age), my views of the battle of Alcatraz are shaped by that telling. I found this version to be a bit more sanitized, but with more axes to grind. Again good but not unbiased book
I bought this book when John and I were on Alcatraz Island . . . along with two other books about Alcatraz. I may have gotten a teensy bit carried away! This tells the story of the bloodiest escape attempt on the island. The author is the son of one of the guards who was in the middle of the escape attempt. It was an interesting story. I just wasn't thrilled with the writing. I feel like for such an exciting event the story could have been a little more exciting. And I do find it sweet that the ...more
David and I toured Alcatraz when we went to SF last month and the author Ernest Lageson was there. His father was one of the officers wounded during the escape attempt. The tour was fascinating to me and I was excited to read a more detailed account of the escape attempt. I thought this was very well written and was glad to find it more of a story and easy to read then just a timeline of events and excerpts from case files. I wished I would have read it before we went.
This was a good book, although the writing is fairly simple. I got a bit bogged down with all the officers' names and the details of the escape plan. It was very helpful to have the diagram of the cell house in the book to refer to! I found the dialogue to be very cheesey. But taking into consideration that the author is not actually an author by trade, I have to give credit for a well researched, informative, action-packed re-telling of this event.
This book is written quite simply, but the story is just great. I just cannot believe the mistakes made by so many people in authority. The convicts made mistakes also of course, but you expect them to. The last few pages upset me the most because of the lies that were told to the press. I won't say any more, because I don't want to spoil anything. If you are looking to read a true account of an attempted escape from this prison, this is very good.
Ernie (the author) is my cousin, and I've heard the story of the Alcatraz escape attempt all my life, especially the fact that the guards saved their lives by "playing dead." But I've never read the story or heard all the actual details before, and I found this book fascinating. The detailed account of events once the escape started moved along rapidly, and I didn't want to put the book down. I was also appalled at the misguided handling by the officials.