Birdman of Alcatraz

birdmanofalcatrazBirdman of Alcatraz: The Story of Robert Stroud by Thomas E. Gaddis

I like prison novels and true crime prison books. Not sure why. The story of prisoner Robert Stroud is an interesting one. He was sent to prison in 1909 for shooting a man in Alaska during the rough frontier times there. In Leavenworth he killed a guard and was sentenced to solitary for life. There, he became a world-renowned expert on canary diseases. The story of a unique man who struggled to create a life for himself amid very difficult circumstances. Thomas E. Gaddis is sympathetic toward Stroud to the point of being somewhat biased in his presentation of information, but the whole story is there, if the reader can read between the lines a little. My copy has an afterword by Gaddis’ daughter that fills in what happened after the publication of the book in 1955. Stroud died in 1963. Grade: C+

Mass Market paperback.

Comstock Editions. May 1989 1st printing.

Comstock is a reprint publishing company that brings back into circulation some old and interesting texts about the West.

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