Hurricane: The Life of Rubin Carter, Fighter by James S. Hirsch

Hurricane

Summary
  1. James S. Hirsch dives into some of the more disturbing details behind the wrongful conviction of middleweight boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. Carter was wrongfully convicted of triple murder and spent almost 20 years in jail. Carter was understandably outraged but he used his time in jail to learn and grow into a more caring and complete person.
Key Takeaways
  1. You can make the most of every single situation. If Carter can spend nearly 20 years in jail and learn from that situation, it is hard to imagine a situation where this is not possible.
  2. Found guilty of a triple murder in 1967
  3. Carter shunned the world for many years but eventually started opening up a little by corresponding with a black youth named Lesra Martin
  4. Carter defied prison rules in any way he could – would not wear the traditional prisoner uniform, eat the prison food, etc. It was known that if a guard laid a hand on Carter there would be hell to pay. Carter knew his innocence and would not stand for being treated like a criminal
  5. It was said that Carter so powerful that he once knocked a horse unconscious with one punch
  6. In a bit of a strange turn of events, a Canadian commune lead by Lisa, made it their mission to help Carter get out of prison. Lisa was the leader of the commune and a very determined, controlling leader.
  7. For a time Carter received a lot of publicity calling for his freedom. For example, the song Hurricane by Bob Dylan, was Dylan’s way of supporting Carter’s fight for freedom.
  8. Finally, in 1985, the conviction was overturned and Carter was let free. He went to live in the commune in Toronto for a while with Lisa, who he was married to for a while, but  soon found it too restrictive and prized his individuality too much
  9. Carter lead a very productive life after his time in prison, becoming a motivational speaker and role model for many at-risk youth
What I got out of it
  1. Carter’s self-transformation during his time in jail is inspiring. He dealt with his problems resolutely and while he was often distant and cold to those closest to him, he was able to make the most of a terrible situation.

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