Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Miracle at Sing Sing

Miracle at Sing Sing

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

Ralph Blumenthal

St. Martin's Press




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


Miracle at Sing Sing

From 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...


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

Reviews from Goodreads

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 Miracle at Sing Sing. He lives in Houston, Texas.

Ralph Blumenthal

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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