Heather Ann Thompson

marlene lopez

Heather Ann Thompson is an award-winning historian at the University of Michigan. She has written on the history of mass incarceration and its current impact for The New York Times, Time, the Atlantic, Salon, Dissent, New LaborForum, and the Huffington Post, as well as for various scholarly publications. Thompson is also the author of Whose Detroit?: Politics, Labor, and Race in a Modern American City and the editor of Speaking Out: Activism and Protest in the 1960s and 1970s. Her book Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy (Pantheon Books) was nominated for the National Book Award in nonfiction. On September 9, 1971, nearly 1,300 prisoners took over the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York to protest years of mistreatment. When the state abruptly sent hundreds of heavily armed troopers and correction officers to retake the prison by force, their gunfire killed thirty-nine men—hostages as well as prisoners—and severely wounded more than one hundred others. Drawing from more than a decade of extensive research, historian Heather Ann Thompson sheds new light on every aspect of the uprising and its legacy, giving voice to all those who took part in this forty-five-year fight for justice.