Books: Mind in a Cage

BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ (334 pp.)—Thomas E. Gaddis—Random House ($3.95).

From the window of his cell in Leavenworth federal prison in the early spring of 1920, Robert Stroud watched the building of the gallows on which he was supposed to be hanged for murder. At 19 he had drawn a twelve-year sentence for killing a man who had beaten up his girl friend; while serving out that sentence in Leavenworth, Stroud had stabbed to death a guard who mistreated him. Eight days before Stroud's scheduled execution, President Woodrow Wilson scrawled on a piece of paper:...

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