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86 Reviews
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Non fiction and a must read for history buffs interested in Alcatraz
This is non fiction and I have to say the author has gone to great lengths to gather the resources and material. There are photos, sketches, architectural plans and designs, blueprints and original letters of Alcatraz, the inmates and the officers that worked there. It is def. a must read for history buffs. It is almost eery reading the private letters of some of the most...
Published on December 27, 2011 by Cheryl M-M

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Censored letters, understandably, provide limited information.
The author informs us at the outset that letters both from and to prisoners were subject to censorship. In addition, opportunities for inmates to communicate among themselves was limited, privileges were few and often withheld, and they did not have access to newspapers, radios, or other sources which would allow them to follow current events. A prisoner's day was long...
Published 19 months ago by Al H


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Non fiction and a must read for history buffs interested in Alcatraz, December 27, 2011
By 
Cheryl M-M (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Letters from Alcatraz (Kindle Edition)
This is non fiction and I have to say the author has gone to great lengths to gather the resources and material. There are photos, sketches, architectural plans and designs, blueprints and original letters of Alcatraz, the inmates and the officers that worked there. It is def. a must read for history buffs. It is almost eery reading the private letters of some of the most infamous criminals that have been detained on that island. Even though the kindle edition shows the pictures in black and white they are clear, readable and of great quality.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal letters from "The Rock", October 23, 2008
By 
Mario Gomes (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Letters from Alcatraz (Paperback)
Michael Esslinger does it again with this excellent work of personal letters and documents culled from files of various alcatraz inmates. We get a close up peek at what was actually written by convicts and what they recieved from their family members. I really dug the design of the book.
They are all here; Stroud,Capone, Kelly,Karpis and all the rest. Alcatraz afficionados will need this one in your library. I'm glad it's in mine.

Mario Gomes
Myalcaponemuseum
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars super, November 23, 2008
This review is from: Letters from Alcatraz (Paperback)
Excellent!

I thought Mr. Esslinger's book on "Alcatraz" was unbeatable. However, this also is a must have. I loved it. No one else could do a better job.
Gave me an insight to what the prisoners were thinking and a lot of the hardships they hard to endure. Excellent! Excellent!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, May 12, 2013
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This review is from: Letters from Alcatraz (Kindle Edition)
It is so interesting to read what the prisoners had to say about their day-to-day living. The pictures included add perspective and visual guidance.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Letters from Alcatraz, January 26, 2013
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This review is from: Letters from Alcatraz (Kindle Edition)
Good read and enjoyable for any history enthusiast, but a little tough to read on the Kindle..., the way its formatted. An example is the reading coorspondance from inmates to home or inmates to wardens etc.. First you see the original physical letters that might take 3 or 4 pages, then the reformatted legible context of the letters that might take up the next couple of pages. In book form should you loose track of who you are reading about you can thumb back and forth but with the ebook for the Kindle its just a bit more clumsy. But hey, no problem as it was a free read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Censored letters, understandably, provide limited information., January 28, 2013
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This review is from: Letters from Alcatraz (Kindle Edition)
The author informs us at the outset that letters both from and to prisoners were subject to censorship. In addition, opportunities for inmates to communicate among themselves was limited, privileges were few and often withheld, and they did not have access to newspapers, radios, or other sources which would allow them to follow current events. A prisoner's day was long and boring and he could confidently anticipate that tomorrow would be a repetition of today and yesterday.

One cannot expect that a book about boring lives will be particularly exciting and I did not expect the book to read like a novel. It is a history book. Some myths about Alcatraz are shown to be untrue and the book provides some interesting historical facts about the institution, but since the foundation of the book is censored letters, the information one can glean from them cannot be especially comprehensive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book!, March 3, 2014
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This review is from: Letters from Alcatraz (Kindle Edition)
This is a great book if you are interested in Alcatraz. I really enjoyed it I hope you do as well
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alcatraz history at it's best!, February 26, 2014
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This review is from: Letters from Alcatraz (Kindle Edition)
This was a great depiction of life on Alcatraz. Reading the words written by the men who lived there and endured the path they chose was not only history, but the human soul and spirit at work. To read the personal writings of notorious criminals makes you see them as normal as you and I. And yet, they have been sentenced to a life of solitude with none of the pleasures that we enjoy. Very well written and documented, although I would have liked to see more letters of response from wardens and officials. Highly recommended for anyone interested in history and Alcatraz.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book!, February 10, 2014
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This review is from: Letters from Alcatraz (Kindle Edition)
Definitely a page turner! I highly recommend this book if you have any interest in Alcatraz. Very thorough and easy to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great compilation of letters, peek back in time, January 23, 2014
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This review is from: Letters from Alcatraz (Paperback)
The book arrived in pristine condition - very satisfied with the resale vendor.

The book itself is fantastic. The author went to great lengths to compile the actual letters and then have them transcribed. The contents are priceless - a representation of what the inmate and guards/staff thought in their own words.
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Letters from Alcatraz
Letters from Alcatraz by Michael Esslinger
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