FRIDAY JUNE 15 STACY HORN DAMNATION ALLEY
Today we call it Roosevelt Island. Then, it was Blackwell’s, site of a lunatic asylum, two prisons, an almshouse, and a number of hospitals. Conceived as the most modern, humane incarceration facility the world ever seen, Blackwell’s Island quickly became, in the words of a visiting Charles Dickens, “a lounging, listless madhouse.”
In the first contemporary investigative account of Blackwell’s, Stacy Horn tells this chilling narrative through the gripping voices of the island’s inhabitants, as well as the period’s officials, reformers, and journalists, including the celebrated Nellie Bly. Digging through city records, newspaper articles, and archival reports, Horn brings this forgotten history alive: there was terrible overcrowding; prisoners were enlisted to care for the insane; punishment was harsh and unfair; and treatment
FRIDAY JUNE 22 JOSEPH SCOTT MORGAN
Have you ever been locked in a cooler with piles of decomposing humans for so long that you had to shave all the hair off your body in order to get rid of the smell? Joseph Scott Morgan did. Have you ever lit a Marlboro from the ignited gas of a bloated dead man’s belly? Joseph Scott Morgan has. Have you ever wept over a dead dog while not giving a shit about the dead owner laying next him? Morgan did. Were you named after a murder victim? Joseph Scott Morgan was. This isn’t Hollywood fantasy—it’s the true story of a boy born into the deprivations of a white trash trailer park who as an adult gets further involved in the desperate backdoor sagas of the “new South.” No hot blondes here, just maggots, grief, and the truth about forensics and death investigation
FRIDAY JUNE 29 – APHRODITE JONES – MICHAEL JACKSON CONSPIRACY
Here, seasoned crime reporter Aphrodite Jones condemns the media for perpetuating hateful rumors and innuendoes, recounting just the sordid details, and reporting only the most despicable accusations and grisly charges made against Michael Jackson during his criminal trial. They had built a highly profitable industry around the superstar’s “freaky life” and banked on his conviction.
And, it turns out, they got it all wrong.
FRIDAY JULY 8 – SAMUEL KLEINER
hhidden story of the group of young American men and women who crossed the Pacific before Pearl Harbor to risk their lives defending China. Led by legendary army pilot Claire Chennault, these men left behind an America still at peace in the summer of 1941 using false identities to travel across the Pacific to a run-down airbase in the jungles of Burma. In the wake of the disaster at Pearl Harbor this motley crew was the first group of Americans to take on the Japanese in combat, shooting down hundreds of Japanese aircraft in the skies over Burma, Thailand, and China. At a time when the Allies were being defeated across the globe, the Flying Tigers’ exploits gave hope to Americans and Chinese alike.
Kleiner takes readers into the cockpits of their iconic shark-nosed P-40 planes—one of the most familiar images of the war—as the Tigers perform nail-biting missions against the Japanese. He profiles the outsize personalities involved in the operation, including Chennault, whose aggressive tactics went against the prevailing wisdom of military strategy; Greg “Pappy” Boyington, the man who would become the nation’s most beloved pilot until he was shot down and became a POW; Emma Foster, one of the nurses in the unit who had a passionate romance with a pilot named John Petach; and Madame Chiang Kai-shek herself, who first brought Chennault to China and who would come to visit these young Americans.
FRIDAY JULY 13 – MARK PENDERGRAST
Everyone knows the story of Jerry Sandusky, the serial pedophile, the Monster. But what if that story is wrong? What if the former Penn State football coach and founder of the Second Mile is an innocent man convicted in the midst of a moral panic fed by the sensationalistic media, police trawling, and memory-warping psychotherapy? The Most Hated Man in America reads like a true crime psychological thriller and is required reading for everyone from criminologists to sports fans.
“If potential readers are convinced that Jerry Sandusky is guilty, they need to read The Most Hated Man in America. This meticulously researched, provocative, and wonderfully written book by Mark Pendergrast, an enormously important contributor to the repressed memory debate, will certainly make them see another side. Maybe they will think twice.”
— Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor of Psychology & Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine, author, The Myth of Repressed Memory and other books.
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