Pathways To Prison contributor wins Pulitzer Prize

Pathways To Prison contributor wins Pulitzer Prize
April 12, 2017 Detroit Public TV

Dr. Heather Ann Thompson, 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner lends her voice and historical expertise to Pathways To Prison, a PBS Detroit #OneDetroit documentary that looks at the prison industrial complex in the state of Michigan.

Blood in the


Dr. Heather Ann Thompson is a native Detroiter and historian on faculty of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Her recent book, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy, has been profiled on television and radio programs across the country, was named a finalist for the National Book Award, as well as a finalist for the Los Angeles Book Prize in History (winner announced April, 2017) a finalist for the Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association (winner announced May 2017). The book was awarded a book prize from the New York City Bar Association, and it has been named on 14 Best Books of 2016 lists including those compiled by The New York Times, Newsweek, Kirkus Review, the Boston Globe,Publishers Weekly, Bloomberg, the Marshall Project, the Baltimore City Paper, Book Scroll, and the Christian Science Monitor. Additionally, Blood in the Water was named on the Best Human Rights Books of 2016 list, and received starred reviews from Library Journal, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly. Blood in the Water has also been optioned by TriStar Pictures and will be adapted for film by acclaimed screenwriters Anna Waterhouse and Joe Schrapnel.

Thompson has written extensively on the history of policing, mass incarceration and the current criminal justice system for The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, The Atlantic, Salon, Dissent, NBC, New Labor Forum,The Daily Beast, and The Huffington Post, as well as for the top publications in her field. Her award-winning scholarly articles include: “Why Mass Incarceration Matters: Rethinking Crisis, Decline and Transformation in the Postwar United States,” Journal of American History (December 2010) and “Rethinking Working Class Struggle through the Lens of the Carceral State: Toward a Labor History of Inmates and Guards.” Labor: Studies in the Working Class History of the Americas (Fall, 2011). Thompson’s piece in the Atlantic Monthly on how mass incarceration has distorted democracy in America was named a finalist for a best magazine article award in 2014.

Thompson is also the author of Whose Detroit? Politics, Labor, and Race in a Modern American City (new edition out in 2017), and the editor of Speaking Out: Activism and Protest in the 1960s and 1970s. 

More on Thompson’s biography here.

Originally published at


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