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Publisher's Summary

Alcatraz - A Definitive History of the Penitentiary Years is a comprehensive reference that breaks away from traditional tourist-style books. This audiobook is the result of years of intensive research. Historian Michael Esslinger thoroughly details the prominent events, inmates, and life inside the most infamous prison in American history. His research includes hundreds of hours examining actual Alcatraz inmate files (including rare original documents from Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, and over a hundred others), exploring the prison grounds from the rooftop to the waterfront to help retrace events and escape routes, and conducting interviews with various former inmates and guards. His study has resulted in detailed accounts of both the 1946 and 1962 escape attempts. Hear detailed narratives of Alcatraz's most notable inmates, who included Robert Stroud (Birdman of Alcatraz), Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, Frank Morris, the Anglin Brothers, Doc Barker, Joe Cretzer, Bernard Coy, Miran Thompson, Sam Shockley, and many-many others.

©2012 Michael Esslinger (P)2014 Michael Esslinger

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good book

very good book. enjoyed it very much. a must read if your interested in Alcatraz

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  • Judy
  • 04-06-2021

The Rock

This is an interesting look inside the now-shuttered federal prison. Surprisingly, many of the prison's wardens were enlightened individuals who endeavoured to rehabilitate the convicts sentenced to incarceration within its damp walls. Author Michael Esslinger makes frequent reference to Escape from Alcatraz, the Clint Eastwood movie that leaves us wondering if the three escapees survived the final leg of their journey, and also delves into the stories of such celebrated inmates as Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly and Robert Stroud, the so-called Birdman of Alcatraz.

Medler's narration is okay, except for some jaw-dropping mispronunciations, the most spectacular of which was "pillroy"; now that I've heard it repeated three or four times, context strongly suggests that the word was "pillory".

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  • Jeffrey Koenig
  • 03-01-2020

The Rock

This is an excellent book on Alcatraz, very in depth on so many levels, you can see the prison in your head and for me especially because my Grandfather Was a Guard On The Rock in The 50's and my family lived in the guard housing there & I was told stories about life there first hand and it matches the book...

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