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The Hot House: Life Inside Leavenworth Prison

The Hot House Life Inside Leavenworth Prison A stunning account of life behind bars at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth Kansas where the nation s hardest criminals do hard time A page turner as compelling and evocative as the finest no

  • Title: The Hot House: Life Inside Leavenworth Prison
  • Author: Pete Earley
  • ISBN: 9780553560237
  • Page: 239
  • Format: Paperback
  • A stunning account of life behind bars at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas, where the nation s hardest criminals do hard time A page turner, as compelling and evocative as the finest novel The best book on prison I ve ever read Jonathan Kellerman The most dreaded facility in the prison system because of its fierce population, Leavenworth is governed bA stunning account of life behind bars at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas, where the nation s hardest criminals do hard time A page turner, as compelling and evocative as the finest novel The best book on prison I ve ever read Jonathan Kellerman The most dreaded facility in the prison system because of its fierce population, Leavenworth is governed by ruthless clans competing for dominance Among the star players in these pages Carl Cletus Bowles, the sexual predator with a talent for murder Dallas Scott, a gang member who has spent almost thirty of his forty two years behind bars indomitable Warden Robert Matthews, who put his shoulder against his prison s grim reality Thomas Silverstein, a sociopath confined in no human contact status since 1983 tough cop guard Eddie Geouge, the only officer in the penitentiary with the authority to sentence an inmate to the Hole and William Post, a bank robber with a criminal record going back to when he was eight years old and known as the Catman for his devoted care of the cats who live inside the prison walls.Pete Earley, celebrated reporter and author of Family of Spies, all but lived for nearly two years inside the primordial world of Leavenworth, where he conducted hundreds of interviews Out of this unique, extraordinary access comes the riveting story of what life is actually like in the oldest maximum security prison in the country.Praise for The Hot House Reporting at its very finest Los Angeles Times The book is a large act of courage, its subject an important one, and Earley does it justice The Washington Post Book World A riveting, fiercely unsentimental book To Earley s credit, he does not romanticize the keepers or the criminals His cool and concise prose style serves him well This is a gutsy book Chicago Tribune Harrowing an exceptional work of journalism Detroit Free Press If you re going to read any book about prison, The Hot House is the one It is the most realistic, unbuffed account of prison anywhere in print Kansas City Star A superb piece of reporting Tom Clancy

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      Posted by:Pete Earley
      Published :2019-01-06T16:46:28+00:00

    1 thought on “The Hot House: Life Inside Leavenworth Prison

    1. Well-written insights into the lives (both inner and daily) of a selection of inmates who were at Leavenworth from 87-89. I wonder how much life in Leavenworth has changed since then, and if the new generation of guards still maintain the guard culture as it is represented in this book. In many ways, everyone involved comes off as being fairly awful, other than Geouge and Matthews. In case you've read the book and you're curious, here's the update: Scott, Post, and Bowles are now dead. Post comm [...]

    2. A lot of books hint around about prison culture and what it's like to be incarcerated long-term; this book shows you what goes on in one of the toughest prisons in North America. The author does a great job of explaining how it works for the prisoners, how it works for the men and women keeping them locked up in there, and does a good job of sketching the bottomless gulf in between. I was also gratified to find that the whole first chapter was an update on one of our local boogeymen, Ronald Bail [...]

    3. The author, a journalist, was granted unprecedented access into the Hot House, where interviewed many inmates, guards, employees and family members. The result is this immensely readable 375-page tome, a wake-up call to all the “Square Johns” as to what prison life is really all about. Here are all the assaults, rapes, extortions, hooch, poker and drug deals, and everything else you hear about in the media. Earley did a fine balancing act, trying to tell the story from both the perspective o [...]

    4. A review on the back of my copy of the book by Nelson DeMillw says it perfectly: "You don't read this book as an outsider looking into Leavenworth. On the first page, you open the gates of the prison; by the second page, the gates have been closed behind you-and you won't get our until the final page."Fascinating and just so well done.

    5. I used to dream about fucking women - beautiful women with great big tits But this is what I dream about now. I dream about fucking a fat prison guard and stabbing him in the back. It's scary, man. I wonder what I'll be dreaming a year from now, or maybe five years from now. I wonder what I'll be dreaming when I finally get back on the streets.A fantastic piece of journalism. Earley spent two years researching for this book inside Leavenworth Prison, between 1987 and 1989 - a federal prison in [...]

    6. Not a read for everyone but I found it compelling and informative. I liked how the author picked from here and there to tell the story—you get a sense that it was difficult to limit himself to the stories/interviews he chose. You'll read one account and say "hey, this guy is innocent/should have better treatment" and think that Earley is sympathizing with the man, but then he turns that feeling around on its head in the next chapter when he makes you side with the guards. In the end, no one's [...]

    7. Pete Earley spent 3 years keeping up with the lives of 5 inmates deemed highly dangerous and sentenced to life in the Leavenworth penitentiary. He provides the stories from not only the 5 inmates he interviewed, but also the officers and wardens involved at the Leavenworth penitentiary at the time at that time. The stories are true-pics are provided to provide the reader with a more realistic idea of the "Hot House" and characters involved. I was enthralled with the stories and Early's use of wo [...]

    8. A well written work of journalism on a tough subject. Although at times just another litany of horrors from behind the walls. Stabbings, beatings, rapes and riots. Pete Earley gets the sordid details interviewing prisoners, guards and wardens. Yet with most journalists there is a sense on neutrality in their reporting, or at least there should be. Had Earley stayed neutral, less sensationalism, less pro-establishment, more consideration of the prisoners that aren't the blood thirsty "convicts" h [...]

    9. This was an excellent book. I grew up near Leavenworth. Some of my high school classmates' fathers were prison guards there, and at least one of my high school classmates became a guard there. I was always fascinated by the size of the prison and feared escapes. I once drove up to the entrance of the prison, but a feeling of overwhelming evil took hold of me and I could hardly wait to leave.While reading Mr. Earley's book, I was struck by the irrational "thinking" of the criminals, and knew anyo [...]

    10. I have really been on a non-fiction kick lately, in hopes of expanding my reading base. It has always been so much easier for me to pick up a fiction book and get lost in whatever world the story puts me in. For non-fiction I have this horrible idea that it's going to be a harder read and I won't enjoy it as much, which is completely FALSE!!! At my office, you get a sense of what genre's people like by what you see them reading in the lunch room. About a year ago, I noticed that one of the girls [...]

    11. This book presents the stories gathered by one journalist who was allowed to roam free in one of the toughest prisons in US. And it does a very good job at making one not stop reading for hours. The stories are engrossing, tough and very matter-of-fact. Both prison staff and inmates get presented in depth and in such a manner that one can get to see humanity in even the worst killer, while never minimizing their deeds. In fact this is what I appreciated most - the way the author manages to walk [...]

    12. The Hot House provides a fascinating look into the lives of the inmates and guards of Leavenworth Prison in the late 1980s. While journalist Peter Earley doesn't shy away from the horrors of prison life (there are plenty of mentions of rape, torture, murder), he also presents a balanced view of the power dynamics in the prison; there is no black and white, good versus evil. It calls into question the American judicial system and the effectiveness of rehabilitation in a prison environment. I'd be [...]

    13. Fascinating mishmosh of multiple narratives within Leavenworth prison. You have to look back frequently to produce cohesive story lines, but the author acknowledges this at the onset. What struck me the most was the camaraderie between guards and (sometimes extremely violent) inmates that exists in the day-to-day, and the obvious but sometimes unsettling humanity that exists within people who somehow find it in themselves to commit horrific crimes. Fun, easy read.

    14. This is a well researched look into a notorious prison. The criminals that the book covers are just that, really nasty murderous criminals. Glad those folks are locked up. It is informative but, I would say the skill level of writer ship or conveyance is marginal at best. Seems to be written by an average reporter that does everything in life in an average way for the sake of establishing more average-ness. Not written in a clever way, the cup is there but, it is dry.

    15. Prison StoryPete Early does it again. He writes about a complex system and uses examples to clarify it for us. He explains for us the prison system and how both prisoners and guards think and react.

    16. Through a connection with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Earley gained unprecedented access to one of the federal system's most brutal properties. Many of the Leavenworth inmates he profiles are serving multiple life sentences, oftentimes both for crimes committed on the street and once locked up.One, Thomas Silverstein, killed a guard while at an even more infamous federal prison in Marion, Illinois. He lives in a cage in Leavenworth's basement that inspired Hannibal Lecter's Tennessee digs in [...]

    17. As a fan of both books about prison and the author, I was understandably excited about reading this book. I maintained that excitement until I was about three quarters of the way through, and then I realized that I really didn't care for plot elements that involved Warden Matthews and the prison guards.If there's one thing I learned from this book it's that begin the warden of a U.S. Prison is just as exciting as working in the General Services Administration.On the other hand, I found the stori [...]

    18. Anyone who wants to know what it feels like inside the walls needs to read this book. My perspective is that of an Officer, so when I picked up this book I braced myself to be irritated by the crybaby story of an attention-seeking inmate who is eager to sarcastically yell "My hands are up, don't shoot!" when you tell them 'no', or one eager to threaten a lawsuit because "you're violating my civil rights!" when canteen is out of Snickers bars. "This is police brutality!" when the facility goes on [...]

    19. Pete Earley's 'The Hot House' offers a compulsively readable, honest-feeling account of what life's really like inside a maximum-security prison. By focusing on the stories of individual prisoners and guards, he's able to offer more insight on the mindset of the incarcerated and the staff, rather than a completely dispassionate accounting of facts. He doesn't flinch away from exposing some of the hypocrisies of his featured individuals - for instance, the man who refuses to "snitch" for the hono [...]

    20. I love non fiction prison stories and this book has it all. It's one of the most horrifying and fascinating looks at what it's really like inside. Some of the stories and and side stories are truly the stuff that nightmares are made ofd no shit, once you read something like this it's impossible to unread it or forget it. You hear about shitty things that people do to other people all the time but some of this stuff makes you really appreciate having places like Leavenworth, most of the people in [...]

    21. I first read this book in high school, and was interested to see how it compared now. I was pleased to find that I still greatly enjoyed it.The author spent a great deal of time inside Leavenworth, talking to inmates and guards. He didn't have an escort or a radio, and was pretty much allowed to wander where he pleased. I think what makes this book different is that it has no thesis. That might be a detriment to many books, but it works perfectly here. You see inmates from the guards' perspectiv [...]

    22. necessary reading for anyone who's interested in the prison system. a journalist given unprecedented access into leavenworth prison at the time when it was still maximum security, earley has had the chance to get to know both the inmates, the guards, and the warden. i think he does a fantastic job of humanizing everyone--even the guards aren't always "nice" or "good" people, but you can really feel for them. this was just a really solid book, both in the research, the writing, and the tone. a lo [...]

    23. The best non-fiction book about Prison in the language. Earley was given unprecedented access(it would never be given again) to Leavenworth at a time when Leavenworth was the "Harvard of the federal prison system," home to the hardest of the hard. The convicts Earley is interested in aren't reflective of the larger inmate population-they're all white for one-and that's what makes it such a remarkable account. Earley focuses on the leaders and the legends, the people who matter within the walls. [...]

    24. The author is an investigative reporter who details life at Leavenworth prison both inside and outside the walls.The author has repeated interviews with various members of the Aryan Brotherhood who are exceptionally candid about the violence and scheming that go on behind the walls. Yet, the author is always implying that he cannot give (or get) the full story. Case in point, the author brings up numerous times how defensive one older prisoner is about his relationship with his younger bunkmate, [...]

    25. My next door office mate recommended that I read this book about life inside Leavenworth Prison and with my criminal justice degree and current job helping put the bad guys in prison I couldn't resist checking the book out. I didn't have a lot of sympathy for the inmates but then I don't think most folks would. The guards aren't protrayed a lot more sympathetically giving the book a realistic feel. The author was the first journalist given unfettered access and the result is a harrowing look int [...]

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