Blood In The Water
Heather Ann Thompson
Blood in the Water by Heather Ann Thompson is a book I would never have gravitated towards. I never read nonfiction before bookstagram, but I recently went through the books I read this year to pick out my favorites and about ¾ of the books that made the list are nonfiction. Probably a sign. I really have to thank Traci @thestackspod for being such a nonfiction champion on bookstagram. (sidenote: if you join her Patreon you will have access to the BEST reading tracker of all time, IMO) Many of the books on the list were recommended by her, with Blood in the Water being one of them.
Blood in the Water is a gut wrenching read. As I was reading it I constantly found myself screaming into the void. It’s truly wild to me that there is STILL so much we don’t know about the Attica Uprising because records are being withheld from the public and many simply destroyed. This book is necessary reading for anyone trying to understand why we should abolish prisons and why the powers that be truly do not give a rat’s ass about protecting anyone but their own power. Heather Ann Thompson lets the record speak for itself, and it is devastating.
Afterwards, I listened to @thestackspod episodes about the book and it truly enriched my experience. Traci interviews Thompson and has a discussion with Derecka Purnell (writer of another book on my TBR called Becoming Abolitionist). I loved hearing their perspectives, and it gave me a lot to think about.
If you are intimidated by this book, don’t be. The chapters are actually pretty short, making it easy to break apart. Thompson also does a great job parsing through the details and making sense of them, so as you are reading you can really paint a clear picture of what was happening at that time. At least with the details she was given, because as noted in the book, there is still so much information that is still not available.