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Bad: The Autobiography of James Carr

by James Carr
£11.00   paperback  AK Distribution (2003)

Bad: The Autobiography of James Carr by James Carr James Carr started fighting when he was very young and never gave up. He was a child prodigy of crime in the streets of L.A. and scourge of half a dozen boys' homes and reform schools. In his teens he rapidly advanced to bookmaking and armed robbery, a career that was quickly cut short by arrest. In prsion he fought harder than ever, and became one of the most notorious rebels in the seething California Penal System.
 
Becoming best friends with George Jackson in Folsom, they led the notorious Wolf Pack, which first fought its way to a position of strength in the prison race war, then, caught up in the radical currents of the 60s, worked to stop the war entirely in order to work solely against the system.
 
Carr was an expreme example of Nietzsche's dictum about what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. He describes in unflinching detail the horrors of prison life - the race riots, murder, rape, and corruption - from the standpoint of one who has overcome them. Carr transformed himself from an openly rebellious con whose actions were self-defeating into a shrewd, thoughtful and impressive person who ultimately engineered his own release.
 
Out of prison he hooked up with the Black Panthers for a while, but, influenced by the situationists, he broke with them. Just after this book was completed he was tragically gunned down in mysterious circumstances.
 
This edition of Bad comes equipped with an introduction and two afterwords, one by his widow, that do a great job both of rounding out the picture of James Carr's life and settling it in the context of his times - and these times.

ISBN 13: 9781902593647 | ISBN 10: 1902593642