Men Into Beasts


Men Into Beasts by George Sylvester Viereck

Savage prisonry.  George Sylvester  Viereck spent five years in prison and offers a straightforward and detailed account of what he encountered there.  He was a Nazi sympathizer indicted for a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (an anti-propaganda bill) in 1941, and was imprisoned from 1942 to 1947. Viereck carefully avoids mentioning any details of his political leanings.

The book offers a somewhat naive perspective on prison life, but this perspective is  more realistic than that of the typical braggadocio-filled lifer.

Viereck, a fairly well-known poet in his  day, and a friend of Nikolai Tesla,  is the father of Peter Viereck, an accomplished (Pulitzer prize-winning) poet in his own right.

My Gold Medal paperback, a first printing from September of 1952, is falling apart. I’m glad it held together long enough for me to read it. Prison is best viewed through the pages of a book. Grade: B-.


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