Miracle at Sing Sing: How One Man Transformed the Lives of America's Most Dangerous Prisoners (St. Martin's Press; June 15, 2004) Order from Amazon.com
"If Lewis Edward Lawes' long career as Warden of Sing Sing were written
as a novel, it would surely be criticized as implausible. Over two decades
he supervised three hundred executions because it was his duty. But
for all that time he argued passionately for the repeal of the death
penalty because it was brutal, senseless and unproductive. His adinistration
was called humane, honest, firm and fair, and when he retired he did
so accompanied by the cheers of more than two thousand prisoners who
thought of him as a 'right guy.' A story almost too good to be true,
but too true to miss."
"The astonishing and compassionate life of Lewis Lawes has remained
one of the buried gems of American prison history until now. Ralph Blumenthal's
biography of this patron saint of the dispossessed and discarded restores
Lawes to a place of worthy prominence in American history."
"Marvelous. ...You can practically smell the secondhand smoke from Walter
Winchell's cigarette and hear the tinkle of ice in Ernest Hemingway's
scotch and water."
Once Through the Heart: A Police Detective's Struggle to Rescue His Daughter from Drugs (Simon & Schuster, 1992) Order from Amazon.com
"New York Times crime reporter Blumenthal ( Last Days of the Sicilians
) begins this chronicle near the end of the 1980s, on the day NYPD narcotics
officer Pat DiGregorio discovered that his daughter Mary Anne was dealing
drugs. He proceeds to reconstruct the family's history, detailing DiGregorio's
youth and young adulthood; his first marriage (to Mary Anne's mother,
who was an alcoholic); his son's death, at age six, of heart disease;
his career in the police department and the difficulties he and his
second wife, Barbara--also a cop--were having with teenage Mary Anne.
DiGregorio gets Mary Anne to enroll in a rehab program; she sticks with
it and after two years graduates with her high school class, and later
becomes a beautician. Blumenthal's thorough research reveals this family's
anguish and examines important issues faced by other parents. But the
DeGregorios' story remains curiously encapsulated and somewhat defeatist,
as it suggests that the events described were inevitable. Photos not
seen by PW. First serial to Parade magazine; movie rights to RHI Entertainment."
Outrage: The Story Behind the Tawana Brawley Hoax [with five Times co-authors] (Bantam, 1990) Order from Amazon.com
"The Tawana Brawley case attracted national attention in 1987 when the
black teenager from Wappingers Falls, N.Y., claimed that she had been
kidnapped, gang-raped and defiled by white racists, among them law officers.
Although subsequent investigation found her story to be a fabrication,
a media circus erupted, focusing on charges of racial injustice and
the antics of Brawley's legal advisers Al Sharpton, Alton Maddox and
C. Vernon Mason. In an impressive expose that distills much new information
from scores of interviews, McFadden and a team of fellow New York Times
journalists present evidence that Brawley concocted her story, with
her mother's complicity, because the teen had been on late-night escapades
and feared beatings by her stepfather, a man who had fatally shot his
ex-wife. Conveyed in cinematic style, this probe is notable for its
fresh revelations and its perspectives on racism, politics and media
Last Days of the Sicilians: At War with the Mafia: The FBI Assault on the Pizza Connection (Times Books, 1988) Order from Amazon.com
"Rare, real glimpses of the Mafia in action...Last Days of the Sicilians exposes it all." --Robert Daly, The New York Times
"Stunningly reconstructs ...one of the most complex criminal conspiracies in the nation's history." --San Francisco Chronicle
"Riveting, authoritative...a masterpiece of tough reporting." --The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Gotti Tapes [forward] (Times Books, 1992) Order from amazon.com
NOTE: Out of print books may be found at Alibris.com.
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