Have a Seat, Please (Paperback)

Have a Seat, Please By Don Reid, John Gurwell, Paul Ruffin (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Don Reid, John Gurwell, Paul Ruffin (Foreword by)
Special Order


When Don Reid published Eyewitness in 1973, the chronicle of his conversion from a supporter of the death penalty to an ardent opponent, the book was an immediate sensation. Perhaps never before in the history of the American penal system has a man witnessed more electrocutions than Reid, who as Associated Press and Huntsville Item representative watched 189 men die in ‘Old Sparky,' as the electric chair in the Texas Department of Corrections' death chamber was not so affectionately called. This book is a powerful personal account of Reid's conversations with many of the very men he later watched receive the eighteen hundred volts of electricity from generators reserved for electrocutions and his later, almost evangelical efforts to defend the men on Death Row from a similar fate.

About the Author

"Don Reid," a cub reporter once wrote admiringly, "can see as much humanity in the messy murder of a shady lady as the coronation of a queen . . . ." Reid was a strong but gentle man, wise and compassionate, and his discerning eyes observed all the degradation and nobility mankind is heir to in his thirty-five years of covering the Texas prison system for the Huntsville Item and the Associated Press. For many years he was publisher of the Item and later in his life spent much of his time writing and making public speeches. Reid, who died in 1981, was survived by his widow, Frances. The late John Gurwell, who assisted Reid with the book, was a Houston writer whose daughter Kathy supported the reprinting of this book.

Praise For…

"Have a Seat, Please is an in-depth and honest look inside the Texas process of executions by Don Reid, who witnessed 189 electrocutions and during the process was transformed from an avid supporter of capital punishment to an active and vocal opponent. Reid takes the reader up-close and personal with his compelling accounts of the condemned on death row and his eyewitness reports of their horrific deaths. Just as captivating is his personal journey of self-discovery as he carefully examines the very emotional and highly debated issue of capital punishment. Although the method of legalized homicide in Texas is different now, the book is as valid today as it was 35 years ago."
Jim Willet, retired warden, Walls Unit, Texas Department of Criminal Justice

This is one of the most profound books written on the subject of capital punishment that I have ever read. I say this without hesitation, and I've read a lot about this subject. Don Reid takes us on a journey that begins at a small-town newspaper in the Piney Woods of East Texas and ends in the execution chamber of what has become known as "the execution capital of the modem world." He begins as a journalist assigned by the Dallas bureau of Associated Press to cover a routine event in his hometown: the execution of a man in the electric chair. He is told that all he is to do is "report the times ... you know, when be goes in, and when he's pronounced dead. ... Unless something unusual happens." Something unusual does happen to Don in the early morning following his first "witness" experience. A simple question sends Reid on a search that takes him to the very place he's "covering" as a journalist: the execution chamber just beyond the "green door" where he is invited by the warden to "Have a seat, please." Join him on this voyage and you will experience a change in your life forever." 
Dennis R. Longmire, Professor of Criminal Justice, Sam Houston State University

"It's been over twenty-five years since Don Reid visited a philosophy class I was taking and talked about this book. Then I read it.  And its clear narrative voice and vivid description have haunted me for this quarter century. I recently read it again, and though Don is no longer with us, his story certainly is. It's as rich and meaningful as ever."  
Ron Rozelle, author of Into That Good Night and The Windows of Heaven

Product Details
ISBN: 9781881515333
ISBN-10: 1881515338
Publisher: Texas Review Press
Publication Date: August 20th, 2001
Pages: 200
Language: English

Situated on the main street of the historic Delaware Riverfront town of New Hope, Pennsylvania, Farley’s Bookshop and its knowledgeable, experienced staff have endeavored to satisfy the literary tastes of the area inhabitants for over fifty years. Whether you are Bucks County born-and-bred or just stopping by to enjoy the crisp river air and delightful scenery, you will be pleasantly surprised to find the largest and most diverse collection of books-in-print in Bucks County. Farley’s may have competition, but it has few peers. We encourage you to browse our website, but please remember that getting acquainted with our online persona is no substitute for exploring the narrow passageways and teeming shelves of our storefront and discovering that perfect book nestled amongst so many others.

New Hope for American Art

                                               New Hope for American Art is the most comprehensive book ever published on artists from, and surrounding, the New Hope Art Colony (also known as the Pennsylvania Impressionists). This book, with its 612 pages and over 1,000 color plates of artwork include biographies of 165 individual Pennsylvania Impressionists and New Hope Modernists as well as artists from the Philadelphia Ten, a pioneering group of women all educated at Philadelphia art schools. 

In this book, you'll find biographies and artwork from such artists as:

  • Daniel Garber
  • Edward Redfield
  • George Sotter
  • Arthur Meltzer
  • Robert Spencer
  • William Langson Lathrop
  • Kenneth Nunamaker
  • John Folinsbee
  • Henry Snell
  • William F. Taylor
  • Fern Coppedge
  • M. Elizabeth Price
  • Clarence Johnson
  • S. George Phillips
  • Rae Sloan Bredin
  • Walter Baum
  • Walter Schofield
  • Morgan Colt
  • Charles Rosen
  • Joseph Meierhans
  • Charles F. Ramsey
  • Louis Stone
  • Charles Evans
  • Josef Zenk

New Hope for American Art was authored, designed and published by James M. Alterman, an expert in the field of Pennsylvania Impressionist and Modernist painting. A longtime collector and owner of two fine art galleries, Alterman wanted to create a user-friendly book intended not only to educate collectors and enthusiasts about this art but to help train one's eye. The book offers valuable tips on how to avoid common mistakes often experienced by new collectors drawn from the author's personal experiences as a collector and fine art dealer.