MY SIX CONVICTS by Donald Powell Wilson
Kirkus Star


Email this review


For those interested in an absorbing human interest story plus a prison background, this is -- in one reader's opinion, anyhow- the most fascinating record since Thomas Mott Osborne fired me with interest in the subject. Dr. Wilson was assigned to Leavenworth by the United States Public Health Service on an extensive research job connected with narcotics. In the course of his work, he selected as assistants six convicts, and his story of three years at Leavenworth, from the viewpoint of a psychologist, is the story of these convicts, of the extraordinary relationship the work entailed, and of the background of perhaps the best of modern federal prisons. Except for occasional departures from straight narrative into psychological analysis, this reads like a behind the scenes in crime, the minds and personalities of the men themselves, the incredible grapevine connecting prison and the outside world of crime, the heartening advances made in penology, the constructive and curative value of such work as this research job supplied. Real crime addicts will like this as well as readers to whom the sociological aspects will appeal. And I defy anyone who likes unique human interest stories to start it and lay it down unfinished. Warden Johnson's Island Prison seems merely a contemporary crime documentary, and Warden Duffy's San Quentin Story a fairly routine introduction to the inauguration of changeover from old time methods to new, in comparison to this dramatic, exciting, frequently moving story of Mr Six Convicts.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1950
Publisher: Rinehart
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1950