"The Last Gasp "takes us to the dark side of human history in the
first full chronicle of the gas chamber in the United States. In
page-turning detail, award-winning writer Scott Christianson tells
a dreadful story that is full of surprising and provocative new
findings. First constructed in Nevada in 1924, the gas chamber, a
method of killing sealed off and removed from the sight and hearing
of witnesses, was originally touted as a "humane" method of
execution. Delving into science, war, industry, medicine, law, and
politics, Christianson overturns this mythology for good. He
exposes the sinister links between corporations looking for profit,
the military, and the first uses of the gas chamber after World War
I. He explores little-known connections between the gas chamber and
the eugenics movement. Perhaps most controversially, he has
unearthed new evidence about American and German collaboration in
the production and lethal use of hydrogen cyanide and about
Hitler's adoption of gas chamber technology developed in the United
States. More than a book about the death penalty, this compelling
history ultimately reveals much about America's values and power
structures in the twentieth century.
University of California Press
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||Electronic book text - Windows
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