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George H. Gregory was a correctional officer at the U.S. Penitentiary at Alcatraz from 1947 to 1962.From Library Journal:
There has been a resurgence of interest in Alcatraz. In The Great Escape (2001), Jolene Babyak gives her version of the only successful escape from the Rock, and in Alcatraz Justice (2002), Earnest Lageson rehashes a long-forgotten trail of three inmates involved in a hostage situation. Now, Gregory, a former prison guard, has written his memoir of 15 years at Alcatraz. Given his background as a marine in World War II, it is no surprise that Gregory was a hard-nosed officer who stressed his ability to keep a dangerous population in line. Yet he also includes in the memoir some priceless prison vignettes. For example, he describes a fracas in the yard between a young officer and some seasoned cons, a confrontation between a doctor and his patients, and the poignant story of a mentally deranged inmate whom he saved from the abuse of the other officers. Although Alcatraz was unique because of its remote location, readers may be surprised to learn that the conditions at the prison, and the characteristics of its inmates, were not so different from those that exist today. For comparison, try Ted Conover's Newjack (2001), the memoirs of an officer in Sing Sing Correctional Facility in the 21st century. Alcatraz Screw will probably not appeal to the general reader, but it will certainly appeal to readers interested in prison life and those who have a special interest in Alcatraz. Recommended for crime collections in public libraries.
Frances Sandiford, formerly with Green Haven Correctional Facility Lib., Stormville, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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