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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

Paul Laudiero: IMG Shit Rough Draft



I was sitting in a British and Irish romantic drama class my last semester in college when the idea for Shit Rough Drafts hit me. I was working... Continue »
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25 Remote Warehouse Crime- Prisons and Prisoners

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God of the Rodeo: The Quest for Redemption in Louisiana's Angola Prison

by

God of the Rodeo: The Quest for Redemption in Louisiana's Angola Prison Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Never before had Daniel Bergner seen a spectacle as bizarre as the one he had come to watch that Sunday in October. Murderers, rapists, and armed robbers were competing in the annual rodeo at Angola, the grim maximum-security penitentiary in Louisiana. The convicts, sentenced to life without parole, were thrown, trampled, and gored by bucking bulls and broncos before thousands of cheering spectators. But amid the brutality of this gladiatorial spectacle Bergner caught surprising glimpses of exaltation, hints of triumphant skill.

The incongruity of seeing hope where one would expect only hopelessness, self-control in men who were there because they'd had none, sparked an urgent quest in him. Having gained unlimited and unmonitored access, Bergner spent an unflinching year inside the harsh world of Angola. He forged relationships with seven prisoners who left an indelible impression on him. There's Johnny Brooks, seemingly a latter-day Stepin Fetchit, who, while washing the warden's car, longs to be a cowboy and to marry a woman he meets on the rodeo grounds. Then there's Danny Fabre, locked up for viciously beating a woman to death, now struggling to bring his reading skills up to a sixth-grade level. And Terry Hawkins, haunted nightly by the ghost of his victim, a ghost he tries in vain to exorcise in a prison church that echoes with the cries of convicts talking in tongues.

Looming front and center is Warden Burl Cain, the larger-than-life ruler of Angola who quotes both Jesus and Attila the Hun, declares himself a prophet, and declaims that redemption is possible for even the most depraved criminal. Cain welcomes Bergner in, and so begins a journey that takes the author deep into a forgotten world and forces him to question his most closely held beliefs. The climax of his story is as unexpected as it is wrenching.

        

Rendered in luminous prose, God of the Rodeo is an exploration of the human spirit, yielding in the process a searing portrait of a place that will be impossible to forget and a group of men, guilty of unimaginable crimes, desperately seeking a moment of grace.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

In this riveting book, Bergner takes readers inside a world where no journalist before him has ventured so deeply--into the Angola State Prison in Louisiana, on assignment to cover the prison's inmate rodeo for "Harper's."

About the Author

Daniel Bergner is a journalist and author of the novel Moments of Favor. He lives with his wife and two children in New York City.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780345435538
Author:
Bergner, Daniel
Publisher:
Ballantine Books
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Penology
Subject:
Rodeos
Subject:
United States - State & Local
Subject:
Customs & Traditions
Subject:
Prisoners
Subject:
Prison psychology
Subject:
United States - State & Local - General
Subject:
Crime-Prisons and Prisoners
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
1999-206568
Publication Date:
19991031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.42x5.60x.80 in. .90 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » Crime » Prisons and Prisoners
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Mens Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

God of the Rodeo: The Quest for Redemption in Louisiana's Angola Prison New Trade Paper
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Product details 304 pages Ballantine Books - English 9780345435538 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this riveting book, Bergner takes readers inside a world where no journalist before him has ventured so deeply--into the Angola State Prison in Louisiana, on assignment to cover the prison's inmate rodeo for "Harper's."
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