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Mother California: A Story of Redemption Behind Bars written by Kenneth E. Hartman

 

Mother California: A Story of Redemption Behind Bars written by Kenneth E. Hartman

Overview:

"The fierce and affecting memoir of a convicted murderer, whose growing self-awareness enables him to understand his crime and achieve redemption. In 1980, Kenneth Hartman murdered a homeless man in a Los Angeles park after a drug-fueled binge. Sentenced to life without parole by the state of California, Hartman was soon considered a potent force by the system's most brutal convicts. To the hellish chaos of a maximum-security prison he brought his own limitless propensity for violence - he often spent months at a time in solitary confinement, "the Hole." "After years in the cold embrace of the state prison system, Hartman discovered a vocation for writing; he also met, through a chance phone call, the woman he would marry and have a child by. With poignancy and self awareness, Hartman chronicles the anarchy and brutish moral code that rules in some of the world's most infamous prisons, where physical punishment is the only form of control. Over time, Hartman evolves into a sentient being; follows his newly discovered spiritual and literary inclinations; and learns to deal with his demanding responsibilities as a family man. The final chapter describes his development of the Honor Program, which helps motivated prisoners escape the ravages of incarceration." Mother California is the story of a man who did not succumb to the darkness of the only world left to him. It offers definite proof that there is no such thing as a life beyond redemption.

Synopsis:

"A magnificent inquiry into the human condition."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review.

In this memoir, a magnificent inquiry into the human condition, a man serving a life sentence in the California prison system documents the brutality and inhumanity of life "inside," where criminals are victimized rather than rehabilitated, and chaos flowers among the despairing. Hartman, an eloquent, middle-aged prisoner convicted of murder at 19, tells a sad but unsentimental story: a rough childhood and a wish for invincibility fueled Hartman's youth and downfall, but in the time since, he has married in prison, fathered a child, and currently works to improve the broken U.S. prison system. Hartman discovered his talent in a writing class, after having abandoned drugs; using it, he examines up close the "mad, violent circus" of prison life, his place in it, and the fate of his fellow prisoners: "Under the big tent of this brutally unnatural environment, few of us ever take the frightening step of analyzing our deeper motives."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Title: Mother California: A Story of Redemption Behind Bars

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