"When I was nine years old I burned down my school."
James Carr started fighting when he was very young, and never gave up. A child prodigy of crime in the streets of the L.A. ghettos and scourge of half a dozen boys’ homes, his career in armed robbery was quickly cut short by arrest. In prison he fought harder than ever, and became one of the most notorious rebels in the seething California Penal System.Linking up with George Jackson in Folsom, they led the notorious Wolf Pack, which quickly fought its way to a position of strength in the prison race war. Separated from George, Jimmy transformed himself from an openly rebellious con into a cunning thinker who manipulated the authorities and ultimately engineered his own release.Carr relates the story of his life with a cold passion, powerfully illuminating the horrors of daily life on the streets and in prison—race riots, murders, rape, and corruption—from the standpoint of one who has overcome them.
"I’ve been struggling all my life to get beyond the choice of living on my knees or dying on my feet. It’s time we lived on our feet."—from the text.
"Jimmy was the baddest motherfucker!"—George Jackson
"It’s dynamite."—Publishers WeeklyWhile initially having close ties with the Black Panthers (at one point as Huey Newton’s bodyguard), James Carr, influenced by the Situationists, broke with them. Just after this book was completed in 1972, Carr was gunned down in a "gangland style" murder.
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Francine Pascal is the creator of the Sweet Valley High series and one of the world's most popular fiction writers for teenagers and the author of several bestselling novels, My Mother Was Never A Kid (Hanging out with Cici), My First Love and Other Disasters, as well as the series Fearless. Her adult novels include, Save Johanna! and If Wishes Were Horses (La Villa) and the non-fiction, The Strange Case of Patty Hearst. Pascal is on the Advisory Board of The American Theatre Wing. Her favorite sport is a monthly poker game. She lives in New York City and France.
"Not for the faint of heart, Bad: The Autobiography of James Carr depicts just how impossible escaping the cycle of systemic violence really can become." Bustle
For those interested in prison reform, James Carr's autobiography, BAD is a must read. His life is a testimony to the need to make fundamental changes in our system of prisons. We all will benefit if changes are made that stress education, rehabilitation and employment opportunities instead of just incarceration. Reading Carr's autobiography forces us to think about just that.”
Jim Beall, California State Senator
BAD was very difficult to read because of the physical violence that permeates the book. This reflects the prisons of the fifties and sixties. Today, a person in prison stills has a fear of being physically attacked especially from gangs. But, there seems to be more psychological violence like long term solitary confinement . . . The total elimination of both physical and psychological violence continues to be an ongoing need.”
Charles Sullivan, President, International Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE)
These are the stories I grew up with, the epic mythologies that sustained me during my long years of exile - gladiator tales of a legendary, furious hero who flew so very close to the sun, burning hot, reckless, ruthless. These are the great and terrible exploits of my godfather, the Black Spartacus who goes harder than all the rest and makes no apologies - vivid, visceral, vital, shining with charisma. His undying bond of comradeship with Uncle George [Jackson, Soledad Brother] serves as a crucial example for everyone in the struggle.”
Jonathan Peter Jackson
The California of illusion, commerce & hype became reality to a throw away kid of street soul in one of the most compelling books I've read . . . Our hero bled while studying higher math and philosophy, not really suited to nationalistic racism but survived with it. Between hell and chaos that he made, he could also make such statements: Guerrilla ideology reduces all revolutionary questions to quantitative problems of military force.’ His story will mess with your mind, stick to your ribs like a shiver and in your hearts and minds forever. If the other James Carr who sang You Got My Mind Messed Up’ was on of the world's greatest soul singers, this James Carr was one of the greatest souls . . . and the baddest mutherfucker society tried to hold.”
Charles Plymell, publisher, Zap Comix, poet, Last of the Moccasins
An inside look at late fifties/early sixties inner city LA street gangs . . . Learn about Carr’s lifelong friendship with Soledad Brother and prison reform leader George Jackson . . . A view inside Soledad and San Quentin that is neither romanticized nor sensationalized. . . . amazing and insightful.” Razorcake
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Book Description Pelagian Press, 1975. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0948688114