Attica: The Revolt and Afterwards
Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy
Bloom, Jack M.
Date Written: 2017-03-01
Publisher: Against the Current
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21548
Book review of Heather Ann Thompson's Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy.
The Attica rebellion - taking hostages, making demands on the state - took place in 1971, a time still roiled by the extraordinary upheaval that constituted the civil rights movement, the ghetto rebellions that were called riots by the enemies of the movement and by the press, and the Black Power movement that had grown out of all of it. The Attica revolt was certainly an organic part of the movement of the time.
According to Thompson, Rockefeller saw things as I stated above: "To his core, he believed that rebellions such as the one he recently had put down at Attica were ominous warnings that the American way of life itself was under attack." . He was joined in this sentiment by leading Nixon Administration officials, including the president, vice-president and attorney general.
Thompson is like the proverbial fly on the wall - everywhere, as she supplies us with fascinating details that bring us into the action. An early example comes after Rocky's new Commissioner of Corrections Russell Oswald disappointed the men who had taken over part of the Attica prison. They had respectfully petitioned him for changes in how the prison was run, and who thought he would meet with them.