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Damnation Island
Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York | Stacy Horn
The gripping voices of the inhabitants of Blackwell's Island make this history come alive. 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 Blackwells 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 Blackwells, as well as the periods 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 char- ity and therapy in the nineteenth century. Throughout the book, we return to the extraordinary Blackwells missionary Reverend French, champion of the forgotten, as he minis- ters 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 mans 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 weve comeand how much work still remains.
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Kaylamburson
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Pickpick

Fascinating audiobook that reveals the true history of what's known today as NYC's Roosevelt Island. Anyone sent to the alm's house, mental institution, or prison was pretty much issued a death sentence. Forced to bathe in water that 30 of your inmates have already used and turned brown with dirt and disease; not enough beds; no heat; torturous treatments. It's all horrifying & a reminder that tragedy doesn't just happen in other countries.

Hooked_on_books I liked this one, too. Interesting that Rikers was meant to be the improved replacement for this place. 4w
Kaylamburson I know! And they just couldn't figure out how to make it work (or didn't care). @Hooked_on_books 4w
61 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Hooked_on_books
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Proving that American officials have a history of bad ideas, Horn tells the story of Blackwell Island, which had facilities for criminals, the poor, and “lunatics.” The treatment of people is horrifying, including starvation and torture. Plus, they had prisoners “caring for” the mentally ill. A fascinating read, but be ready to watch baby animal YouTube videos afterward to wash out your brain.

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Lizpixie
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I‘m in a non fiction kick atm, luckily I have a large stockpile encompassing so many different topics. This is one I‘ve been dying to get to. NYC has always held a fascination for me, it‘s history is just so interesting. Whether it‘s about the original Native owners,the Dutch then the English, or the melting pot of ethnicities that have shaped it, it‘s just endlessly full of interesting stories, like this one about the origins of Roosevelt Island.

DebinHawaii This sounds really interesting! #stacked 📚 5mo
Crazeedi Did you hear they are dedicating it to Nellie Bly who exposed the insane asylum 5mo
StaceyKondla Oh - me too! #stacked 5mo
58 likes4 stack adds3 comments
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Rissa1
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Pickpick

4⭐ An incredibly interesting picture of how the past treated mental health and ppverty.

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Rissa1
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The stories in this book are crazy, I knew it was bad, but Wow!

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Lizpixie
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#BookMail Pt13 The 2nd book from the #MailPileOfDoom is a non fiction book. Now known as Roosevelt Island, when it was bought by NYC in 1828 it was called Blackwell‘s Island. For the next 100yrs it would be home to the insane, the indigent & the criminal. Or if you were unlucky enough, a woman who spoke her mind. This book tells what daily life was like, and what charity & therapy in the 19th century looked like. Both chilling & eye opening😱

62 likes3 stack adds
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Librarybelle
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Blackwell Island off of NYC perfectly fits for #MonsterHospital . On my #tbr pile. #TimbitTunes

Cinfhen I‘m with you @Lizpixie #stacked 9mo
Chrissyreadit Sounds goods! Stacked also! 9mo
RamsFan1963 @Librarybelle Well written and informative, but so sad and grim, it's a real gut-punch to read. 9mo
Librarybelle @RamsFan1963 It seems like it would be so sad and grim. I‘m glad to hear that it is well written and informative! 9mo
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RamsFan1963
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FINALLY!! Its taken me over a month, but I finally finished this. It's well written and informative, but so dark, grim and depressing that its becomes almost painful to read. I'd recommend it if you're interested in 19th Century New York, but otherwise I'd say pass.
3 💥💥💥 1/2 out of 5

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Zelma
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What feels like a million years of being sick, plus rain every single day day, means I plan to sit in my chair and read more about the horrors of Blackwell‘s Island. This one is quite good and clips long at a pretty good pace. Today I start reading about the penitentiary.

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled This one sounds good!! 1y
Zelma @ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled it is! And it‘s not too long or bloated. I have been on an asylum kick but this covers all of the buildings in the island (asylum, hospital, penitentiary, workhouse, and almshouse. Horrific story overall.) 1y
JacqMac Still feeling sick here, too. But the books are helping. Hope you feel better soon. 1y
tracey38 Feel better! I'm glad you are able to keep reading. 1y
55 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Zelma
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I‘ve been really sick since Tuesday so very little reading done. Binge watched a ton of American Horror Story, which is leading me down the rabbit whole of asylums. Really liking these two as I start to feel better and able to concentrate.

LiteraryinLititz Noooo! I hope you feel much better soon. 1y
Zelma @LiteraryinLititz thank you! I finally ate soup tonight. Wooo, living on the edge! 😆 1y
irre Feel better 1y
See All 6 Comments
Reggie I hope you feel better. Are you watching season2? That‘s my favorite. All the trigger warnings though. I started watching the Cult season at the gym while I was on the elliptical and it had some clown horror. It was 2a.m. and I was by myself. 15 minutes later I turned it off. lol I just couldn‘t. 1y
Zelma @irre thanks! @Reggie yes, I watched season 1 and 2 so far (Murder House and Asylum). So good! I usually don‘t watch a ton of horror but it‘s not too scary for me and really smart and well acted. Taking a break before diving into Coven. 1y
Redwritinghood Hope you‘re feeling better soon. 1y
58 likes6 comments
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AmCheri
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I know I‘m in the minority but I hated this book. It was obviously well-researched but, after a while, it felt more like misery-porn. Yes, the treatment of inmates and the politics and cultural aspects involved were important but there were so many stories that were similar enough that the point had been made over and over and over. I finally stopped at about 80% after reading about a mutilated dog being operated on without anesthesia.

BrittanyReads Oh god... I was going to read this but I don‘t think so. Poor dog 😭 thanks for the honest review. 1y
AmCheri Try Ten Days in a Mad-House by Nellie (Nelly?) Bly instead. I got a lot out of it. 1y
2 likes2 comments
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Ashley_Nicoletto
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This book made me uncomfortable and angry and I believe those are important things to feel. It's sad how throughout history we've forgotten that both prisoners and the mentally ill are still human beings. This book is another one of those stories. #25infive #13hoursin

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Ashley_Nicoletto
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Audiobooks - the only way I can keep up with #25infive.

Mostly because I can't sit still for longer than an hour at a time.

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Ashley_Nicoletto
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My most recent audiobook put me in a little bit of an audio funk.

Trying to get back into them by dipping into this for my Monday listen.

emilyhaldi Ooooohhhh I‘m fascinated by Roosevelt Island!!! #stacked 1y
68 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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catiewithac
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Recent events in America have shocked many of us who thought we‘d outgrown human rights violations. Despite our current failings we‘ve come along way. This history recounts a quarter century experiment with charity and corrections on New York‘s Roosevelt Island. The plan was a scientific and humane treatment of the city‘s mentally ill, poor, criminal and ill inhabitants in one location. The results were often disappointing. Great read!

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Weaponxgirl
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I've found that audiobook wise I love non fiction. I loved this as much as you can with the subject matter and this book will really break your heart. Particularly sad is people who were trying to change things on the island for the better who were thwarted by higher ups and then blamed for conditions. Particularly strong is the epilogue, it links the past to today and so doesn't let us off the hook just going oh history. That bit is short though

Weaponxgirl Overall a fascinating book. #nonfiction2018 1y
62 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Jennie748
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Pickpick

I finished this last night, and it was horrifying but totally unputdownable. I kept reading even as my stomach hurt!

MarriedtoMrT I checked this out from the library on a whim. Glad to see a positive (if sad) review. 1y
8 likes1 comment
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Weaponxgirl
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Insomnia sucks, but thankfully audiobooks don't. Saw this recommended on @bookriot for real podcast and then found it on audio on #scribd.
So far I'm really interested if horrified by the conditions that people had to live through, there's a bit about baths that will make you gag at the idea. Not soothing listening whilst trying to sleep #riotgrams

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Monica5

I had to bail. Barely made it to my cut off of 100 pages!

tracey38 Glad you bailed if you weren't enjoying it. Too many good books out there to keep reading a bad one. 😊 2y
13 likes2 comments
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Booksnchill
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Excited to read this book about Roosevelt Island in the 1800‘s! #GoodreadsGiveawayWin

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