Dr. Scott Christianson, a college professor, investigative reporter and New York State criminal justice official, served as director of prison investigations for that state's Commission of Correction. His books include Innocent, Condemned, Notorious Prisons, With Liberty for Some and Bodies of Evidence.
With the exception of two tales of escapes from American slavery in the 1840s, all the episodes here occurred within the past 100 years... Each account tells in brief what happened, of course, but its browser-grabber will be the accompanying historical, spot-journalism, and cinematic photos. They freeze the drama and immortalize the emotions of escape, such as sheer elation. Nazis, Communists, Jim Jones, sharks, natural disasters, cannibals--name the menace, and it likely lurks within, along with survivors' testimonies about their close calls. This high-interest title is sure to attract attention.-- (12/15/2009) These 50 stories of amazing escapes are so suspenseful that they're hard to put down. The historic escapes documented here were from harsh natural conditions, kidnappers, oppressive regimes, prisons, disasters, and scenarios from World War II and more contemporary warfare. Some escapes are famous: the hiker in Utah who cut off his hand after being trapped by a rock for days; "The Great Escape," from a W.W.II German prisoner-of-war camp; and "the miracle on the Hudson" that saved all air passengers forced to make a crash landing. Other escapes are less well known: a kayaker who became trapped under water until he was able to break his leg and free himself; a German soldier sent to a Siberian work camp whose escape route back home took him three years; and a man trapped in the rubble of the World Trade Center who dragged another man after him, only to have the rescued man get out of a narrow hole first and walk away without helping the first man. This is a great book if you need an escape from winter.-- (12/01/2009)