Miracle at Sing Sing

How One Man Transformed the Lives of America's Most Dangerous Prisoners

Ralph Blumenthal

St. Martin's Press

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In 1919, Lewis E. Lawes moved his wife and young daughters into the warden's mansion at Sing Sing prison. They shared a yard with 1,096 of the toughest inmates in the world-murderers, rapists, and thieves who Lawes alone believed capable of redemption. Adamantly opposed to the death penalty, Lawes presided over 300 executions. His progressive ideas shocked many, but he taught the nation that a prison was a community. He allowed a kidnapper to care for his children and a cutthroat to shave him every morning. He organized legendary football games for his "boys," and befriended Hollywood greats such as Charlie Chaplin and Humphrey Bogart. This is "A story almost too good to be true, but too true to miss." -Mario Cuomo

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Miracle at Sing Sing
1From the water it looked like an old New England factory, maybe a knitting mill, red brick with neat rows of white-framed windows, tall gray smokestacks, a railroad track, and a flagpole with a flapping American flag.From the water you couldn't see the bars.In summer the greenery almost swallowed the sharp-peaked turrets that poked up like deadly mushrooms along the snaking walls. Behind the factory buildings and just visible between them was a long building the color of bleached bones. This had no windows to speak of, just little vertical lines, the way a child might draw

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Reviews

Praise for Miracle at Sing Sing

"...informative and entertaining..." - New York Times Book Review

"Ralph Blumenthal has given us a remarkable portrait of a remarkable man... Blumenthal is a gifted storyteller... He has given us a tale worth telling." - David Nasaw, author The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst

"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."
- James Morris, author of The Rose Man of Sing Sing

"With exquisite detail and real passion, Blumenthal has brought to life a legend and the world he sought to make better." - Publishers Weekly

"If Lewis Edward Lawes's long career as warden of Sing Sing were written as a novel, it would surely be criticized as implausible... A story almost too good to be true, but too true to miss." --Mario Cuomo

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About the Author

Ralph Blumenthal

Ralph Blumenthal is a longtime investigative reporter at the New York Times, who now heads the Houston Bureau covering Texas and the southwest. He is also the author of Stork Club. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship to work on this book. He lives in Houston, Texas.

Ralph Blumenthal

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Available Formats and Book Details

Miracle at Sing Sing
How One Man Transformed the Lives of America's Most Dangerous Prisoners
Ralph Blumenthal

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
May 2005
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466826045
ISBN10: 1466826045
320 pages, Includes b&w photos throughout
$7.99
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