Heather Ann Thompson’s book Blood in the Water
What were the major structural causes of the Attica rebellion? (Try not to discuss the events of September 9th, but the larger issues that preceded that day).
How would you generally characterize the prisoners’ behavior throughout the standoff? What does the prisoners’ list of 33 demands tell us? Why was the retaking problematic? How did politics play into the decision to retake the prison? How did Attica seem to play into the era of “mass incarceration”? What does this tell you about public memory? What have you learned about human rights by reading this book? What about state power? What do you believe you will remember about this book in 20 years?
In what style did Thompson write this book? Do you think this book could have been shorter? What does the way that Thompson chose to write this book tell us? What do you think she sought to accomplish by writing it the way she did (consider her audience and the state of scholarship on Attica)? 3 pages include the extra credit.
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