Read Birdman: The Many Faces of Robert Stroud by Jolene Babyak Online


Jolene Babyak lived on Alatraz while her father was working there.Meticulously reserched,her book includes never before published prison reports and Stroud's own writing with quotes from prisoners,officers and avian pathologists.It explodes the myth surrounding Robert Stroud....

Title : Birdman: The Many Faces of Robert Stroud
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780961875220
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 327 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Birdman: The Many Faces of Robert Stroud Reviews

  • James Spainhower
    2019-03-17 08:10

    I have read the book twice and both times found Birdman to be insightful and entertaining. Having a younger brother aged 50, who is a psychopath, I have attempted to educate myself on this often misleading malaise. One point I find difference with is that psychopathy, sociopathy, and antisocial personality disorder are interchangable. I submit that sociopathy and antisocial personality disorder share most, if not all the myriad characteristics ascribed to one who is manipulative, narcissistic, and fails to or does not accept responsibility for their repetitive maladaptive behavior. The key point of contention, however, is that while sociopaths may feel sincere remorse for wrong-doing, a psychopath is affectively flat lacking any sense of remorse. In sum, a psychopath is devoid of conscience. As such, the classification of "psychopath" should be categorized seperately in the upcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V, slated for release in June, 2013. Statistically, psychological demography profiles estimate sociopathy at between 2- and 4-percent of the worldwide population (with varying degrees of maladaptive involvement). Psychopathy, on the other hand, involves approximately .6- to .8-percent of that total figure, making it a rare bird, indeed. Ranking as the rarest phenomenon within psychopathy is serial murder, often psychosexual in its motivation. Surprisingly, serial murderers, unlike the garden variety of psychopaths and sociopaths, DO learn from their mistakes and will change their modus operendi (M.O.) when they perceive law enforcement investigations are on to their profiling path. Without a doubt, given the prevalence of this affective(?) disorder, very little time is afforded by psychological professionals toward investigating causal factors or means by which to mitigate its development. Moreover,the damage effected by psychopaths, particularly within the psychosocial dynamic of the immediate family, the collective repercussions can be devastating. One thing is certain from personal experience: a psychopath always prevails. They are relentless in their zeal to dominate others and will spend a lifetime, if that is what is required, to subjugate and vanquish opposition thereby claiming title to the lives, well-being, and fortunes of others. Truly behavioral chameleons and psychic vampires, the scourge of psychopathy demands greater investigation in professional circles.

  • John Vanderslice
    2019-03-22 06:51

    I have somewhat mixed feelings here. Babyak does a great service in developing a mixed, complicated picture of Robert Stroud, the famous "Birdman of Alcatraz"; she's right that the real Stroud is far more interesting than the idea of Stroud held by those who only read Martin Gaddis's famous 1950's book on him, upon which the Burt Lancaster movie is based. And the extent of Babyak's research is flat out admirable. She certainly does her homework. She leaves no stone unturned. But she appears to have inherited a negative view of Stroud from her father, who worked on Alcatraz for nine years and even figures as a character in the book. This is not to say that the questions she raises about Stroud possibly being a sociopath are incorrect questions. But she does seem to spin those questions, in every circumstance, in the harshest direction possible, even occasionally using diction that I would regard as unprofessional and a bit loaded ("bogus," "racked"), especially for a book that tries to be clinical and neutral and perfectly factual. On the whole, though, it's a well-researched and well-written book. If you're curious at all about Stroud you should read it.

  • Juli Kinrich
    2019-03-05 04:49

    I've been fascinated with the Birdman of Alcatraz since I was a girl. A few months ago, I finally visited the fabled rock. The guide recommended this as one of the better books about Robert Stroud. Even so, it only kept my interest when the author dove into his emotional state, and the strange and exaggerated ways he reacted to his world and the people around him. I grew tired of Babyak's recitation of Stroud's ongoing, legal wrangling and his less-than-stellar scientific credentials. Finally I bailed out around halfway through the book. For a true Birdman nerd, though, this is probably a good read.

  • Valerie
    2019-03-16 04:58

    DNF: the author's hatred for her main character overshadows everything. I met the author and she had great stories, but they weren't captured here. I blame the editor.

  • Brianna
    2019-03-10 04:03

    Yes, people who watched the movie will be disappointed. I never watched the movie, and reading this book was the only sort of perspective I've had on Robert Stroud. This will not be a popular opinion, but I felt as if the author was condescending in areas where she should not have been. That is just my opinion though.

  • Erin
    2019-02-25 06:40

    I picked this up impulsively when visiting Alcatraz. A few weeks later, I saw it on my shelf and thought, "why did I buy that?" In fact, reading the first few chapters, I felt like one of those people who reads true crime. Robert Stroud was a heinous, manipulative person and more pathetic than anything else. All this being said, it was well researched and that research was well presented. Babyak did massive amounts of homework to dispell a popular American myth and for me, what I really enjoyed was how the myth came about and how so many jumped on the bandwagon. This book also contains the history of our modern prison system and of Alcatraz itself. There were a couple non sequitors that I thought were confusing and a timeline and list or major players (guards and wardens) would have helped me follow along.I'd like her to write more, but certainly on nicer subject matter.

  • Debbie
    2019-03-16 07:10

    I wanted to read this book to learn more about the bird man of Alcatraz after watching the movie. This book offered a look at Robert Stroud's life before, during and after his time he served in Alcatraz. He felt he was not a murderer serving time but that the prison was serving him time. He was actually a darker person that who Burt Lancaster played in the movie Bird man of Alcatraz. In the book he reveals that he was gay but he had married a women while he was in prison and she was his business partner. Robert entered prison in 1909 after being convicted of manslaughter for killing a man in Alaska for beating up a prostitute. He spent the next 54 years of his life in 4 different federal prisons. Robert only had a third grade education but educated himself by reading books to go on to write books about birds that people around the world read.

  • dom⟡∗⋆♡
    2019-02-24 02:44

    This was a really interesting read, and I wasn't sure whether to give it three stars or four, but then I thought about other books I've rated and decided it was more of a three.I bought this book when I was visiting San Francisco, and actually went out to the island to see Alcatraz. The author was there signing books, and I got my copy signed and stamped with the date I was there. The book was more interesting to me because of this, I think, that it would have been otherwise.I have studied psychologoy, and criminology was always my favourite aspect, so it makes sense that I would enjoy this book. Non-fiction isn't usually my sort of book, though, so I was quite far out of my comfort zone with this. The only reason I really actually bought it was because I visited Alcatraz and met the author. I was pleasantly surprised though, since I didn't expect to like this as much as I did!

  • Ryan
    2019-03-24 01:49

    Not well written, but contains interesting facts about Robert Stroud. I have to admit that when I started reading the book I thought it would parallel the Burt Lancaster movie, but I was wrong. Turns out Stroud did not develop new cures for avian diseases; he simply plagarized a book written earliier. Seems his bird breeding business was simply a front to conceal a moonshine still that he'd set up in his cell. So, I have to admit that I was taken in by the romantic "Hollywood" myth machine.Overall I'd say it was an interesting book. If you want to know the truth about the "Bird Man", versus the "Hollywood" Burt Lancaster myth, I'd say read it.

  • Lindsay
    2019-03-15 01:41

    I must admit not having heard of Stroud until I picked up this book. I found it well researched and written, and while Stroud was not a likeable man he did lead a fascinating life, particularly as most of it was confined to prison. Having a veterinary background I did find it interesting how recent much of the knowledge on birds is, with much not known today, but also how someone with no peer reviewing could be come to seen as such a guru by so many people, even if much of what he put out was incorrect.

  • Susan
    2019-03-03 03:04

    After reading Babyak's book on the Alcatraz escapes, I picked this one up eagerly. Interesting subject matter and well written. What a strange man. I stopped reading when she mentioned that Stroud was a pedophile.... one subject I just DO NOT want to read about at all. Kind of odd that I could read about the murderers (in the Escape book) and try to understand their life story and how they reached the point they were at, but a pedophile.... I stopped reading the book immediately and was sorry we had spent the money on it.

  • Chelsea
    2019-03-10 04:53

    After visiting Alcatraz this past fall, I was interested in what I could learn about the Birdman of Alcatraz and the true story of his life. This book really uncovers a massive manipulation of the media and through them the whole of liberal America. He was purported to be denied basic civil rights when in fact he more luxuries than any other prisoner before or since. What a diabolical killer who was brilliant enough to market himself otherwise. Wonderful book factually but wasn't really "authored" so much as a compilation or everyone's data, words and thoughts.

  • Peter Bridgford
    2019-03-17 03:48

    I bought this book while on Alcatraz, and I must admit that the creepy cover lured me in. I haven't read anything about Robert Stroud before nor seen the movie, so this was all new and fresh territory for me. I found the book to have some flaws, but it kept me flipping the pages and I looked forward to reading it. In the end, I found myself conflicted by the man, which I think is the whole point of the book. Part sociopath, part victim, part scientist, part murderer - the man did, in fact, have many faces.

  • Nicole
    2019-03-07 01:50

    This was my absolute favorite book sometime between 4th and 6th grade. I wrote a paper about the Birdman of Alcatraz. I told anyone who would listen that he used to shave his entire body with a straight razor. I was an odd kid. I met the author, on the island of Alcatraz, she signed my copy. If you lay the book flat, you can see his entire creepy face...Yeah I was an odd kid. The only one I knew who had a favorite Alcatraz inmate.Still one of my favorite places, been twice 10/10 would recommend.

  • Cindy
    2019-03-13 05:48

    It took 18 years, but this monkey's off my back. Bought this at Alcatraz in 1997 based on fond memories of the movie and made it through half...after visiting Alcatraz a second time, I finally slogged through till the end. Verdict: Burt Lancaster is way more likable than Robert Stroud - watch the movie (the kids liked it too!).

  • Michael
    2019-02-23 07:42

    The Birdman of Alcatraz is a famouos inmate. His story is amazing and sad. You will see reports, quotes from prison officials, prisoners, etc. He went to prison as a very young man and never came out. It didn't stop him from living!

  • Cynthia
    2019-03-22 00:47

    If you are thinking about the movie with Burt Lancaster, think again. This is a better researched and more balanced biography of the famous birdman. Not quite as wonderful as he was portrayed in the movie, he is still remarkable and interesting to read about.

  • Mike B
    2019-03-04 04:47

    I visited Alcatraz, and I wondered what he felt when looking over the bay, birds flying, and this crazily intelligent, yet in some way I feel sorry for him, imagining he was back in Springfield Prison with his birds. Great story

  • Barbara Nutting
    2019-03-18 01:49

    Not bad - an in depth look at a man who never had a bird on Alcatraz!! Having toured The Rock numerous times - both day and night - I enjoyed walking those spooky corridors again!

  • Jennifer Mangler
    2019-02-24 00:43

    The legend of the Birdman has overshadowed the real man, a petty, vindictive sociopath who loved to manipulate everyone around him. He doesn't deserve to be mythologized.

  • Katie Elliott
    2019-03-12 07:00

    Slow to get going. But enjoyed in the end.

  • Alena
    2019-03-18 06:44

    I learned about Alcatraz and Aviation. Lately I have been interested in biographies. If you've ever seen, The Birdman of Alcatraz, this might paint a more accurate portrayal of Robert Stroud.

  • Linda Dittes
    2019-03-21 08:52

    Picked this up on my first ever visit to Alcatraz. I have always been intrigued since Burt Lancaster played Robert Stroud in the movie. I thought the book was well researched and read easily.

  • Ljbj
    2019-02-23 03:44

    Fascinating and enlightening.