Damnation Island

Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York
CD - unabridged
Audio (9 discs)
Product Number: DD36645
Released: May 15, 2018
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781684411986
Narrator/s: Pam Ward
Publisher: Highbridge Company
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Description

Today it is known as Roosevelt Island. In 1828, when New York City purchased this narrow, two-mile-long island in the East River, it was called Blackwell's Island. There, over the next hundred years, the city would build a lunatic asylum, prison, hospital, workhouse, and almshouse. Stacy Horn has crafted a compelling and chilling narrative told through the stories of the poor souls sent to Blackwell's, as well as the period's city officials, reformers, and journalists (including the famous Nellie Bly). Damnation Island re-creates what daily life was like on the island, what politics shaped it, and what constituted charity and therapy in the nineteenth century. Throughout the book, we return to the extraordinary Blackwell's missionary Reverend French, champion of the forgotten, as he ministers to these inmates, battles the bureaucratic mazes of the Corrections Department and a corrupt City Hall, testifies at salacious trials, and in his diary wonders about man's inhumanity to man. For history fans, and for anyone interested in the ways we care for the least fortunate among us, Damnation Island is an eye-opening look at a closed and secretive world. In a tale that is exceedingly relevant today, Horn shows us how far we've come-and how much work still remains.

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Damnation Island
Product Number: BX00103658
Product Number:Z100108228
Product Number:DD36645

All formats/editions

eAudio
x-large
Author(s): Stacy Horn
Narrator(s): Pam Ward
Product Number Z100108228
Released: May 15, 2018
Business Term: Purchase
Publisher: Highbridge Company
ISBN: #9781684411993
eBook
x-large
Author(s): Stacy Horn
Product Number EB00711971
Released: May 15, 2018
Business Term: Purchase
Publisher: Algonquin Books
ISBN: #9781616208288

Professional reviews

"Narrator Pam Ward couldn't have provided more contrast between her delivery and this audiobook's title. Her sprightly, exuberant style shines a bright vocal light on what is otherwise a dark, troubling story. Ostensibly the story of the asylum on Roosevelt Island, then called Blackwell's Island, in New York's East River, it's really a tale of what nineteenth-century society did with its people who suffered from cognitive and physical disabilities--people who were considered expendable. Ward is easy to understand but at times sounds like she's giving a rousing reform speech rather than interpreting the book. Nonetheless, she does a good job using her voice to convey emotion, varying her narration from a high pitch all the way down to a low growl to denote the wretched conditions being described. R.I.G. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"

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