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Dead to Deliverance Paperback – 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Split Oak Press (2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0982351380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982351383
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,778,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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4 star
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See all 12 customer reviews
His depictions are very accurate.
t8inla
The book itself is a powerful testament to the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity, and the moral conscience and wisdom of the author.
B. Vriend
I recommend this gripping and inspirational book.
Dieterm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dpshadow on August 10, 2010
Verified Purchase
Expect challenges to any stereotypical views held about young gang members in the 70's.
The authentic voice of Steve Champion and the forward by Tom Kerr draw vivid word pictures depicting the chasms that existed then and now between black and white, literate and non literate, privileged and poverty stricken. A powerful case is made for recognizing that redemption possibilities exist for certain segments of society and are absolutely disallowed for others. Steve points out that Nelson Mandela and Saint Paul are among those whose past lives were filled with horror and their redemption was not only allowed, but honored.
Steve Champion describes his internal struggle, his thirst for knowledge, and his search for authentic spiritual peace inside a prison which has been his cage since he was 18 years old. An angry young man has immersed himself in the wisdom of the ages and has become a writer willing to expose his most private thoughts to the world which exists outside his death row prison.
The cover artwork of the African Baobob tree by Dieter Marzinger is a beautiful analogy for the depth of the roots that are needed to survive in this upside down world, especially for a death row prisoner.
This is a powerful book and I'm amazed that it found its way into print.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maria on August 5, 2010
Dead to deliverance is a must for anyone interested in a true account of the harsh realities and struggles many men face on San Quentin's death row. Steve champion gives a full insight in the personal struggles , obstacles and self transformation he faced going from a high school dropout , violent gang member to the disciplined man with a thirst for knowledge and understanding that he is today.
In the face of much adversity and oppression Steve has shown great strength, courage and determination this book has confirmed that change can come in all of us and in the most unlikeliest of places if we want it .His determination and commitment to carry on with his memoir even after being placed in the adjustment centre (on a false charge) should inspire us all to be the best we can be.
I personally would encourage everyone to read from dead to deliverance not only are the words heartfelt and true but if you hold an open mind this book will allow you to see and feel things from a very different perspective.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Czerny on January 11, 2011
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I understand the author's life-story as an example. As an example for forgotten, destroyed and finally condemned lives. Forgotten and condemned by a society that worships revenge. A society where we can find more young people in prisons than in schools. Forgotten by a society that itsn't able for decades to provide a life without racism for their members. Members who ought to take responsibility instead of losing themselves in the depth of hopelesness. I also understand the author's life as an example for personal change, development, and redemption - possible, authentic and real. As an individual he should not merely be understood as an example. As an individual, as Mr. Steve Champion, he should be understood as a proud and strong man, a son, a brother, an uncle,a close friend. A society - its members - should never forget the meaning of humanity.
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By t8inla on April 24, 2011
I'm rating this book 5 stars (out of 5). Steve Champion's (aka Adisa Akanni Kamara) memoir is delivered in a straightforward manner from a man who has explored his early childhood until his over 28 years of incarceration on death row at San Quentin State Prison in northern California. Steve takes us on a journey through a life of crime, membership in the Crips street gang, and eventually his quest for enlightenment and redemption. Steve pulls no punches with those around him, or himself. Steve forged himself into a brave and formidable opponent to overcome his own past, and face the obstacles ahead.
Without ego, Steve very clearly informs the reader what his thoughts were during those times. He doesn't try to glamorize the events. Steve shows the reader exactly how young men are initially attracted to gangs and the feeling of acceptance the gang provides. I found Mr. Champion's recall, vivid descriptions and insight profound. I was born, and grew up in close proximity to where Steve lived before his being sent to death row. His depictions are very accurate. Being approximately 15 years older than Steve, I was in Los Angeles when the Crips were founded and in the early 80's when all the gangs started becoming increasingly more violent because of the emergence of crack cocaine on the streets of south central Los Angeles. It was a very bad time for young men searching for answers, without proper guidance.

Mr. Champion's way of explaining what he has learned and what he thinks about are eye opening in a precise and detailed manner with no exaggeration. He uses an economy of word that seems to always ring true. Steve formulates into words what many of us can only wonder about.
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I never questioned the idea that any criminal sentenced to death should be put to death, because it seemed self-evident that if capital punishment is invoked it should be carried out.

But my abstract notions of justice and retribution have come up against a real human being, a former gang member from south central L.A. who was sentenced to die when he was 18 years old, and suddenly my death penalty convictions are much harder to defend.

In Dead to Deliverance, Steve Champion has granted us temporary visiting rights into his mind. With a clear strong narrative voice -- free from self pity and blame -- he shares his thoughts and feelings about the nature of crime, the realities of prison, the cycle of incarceration, and the terror of execution day. He also details his own personal quest for education and transformation, conducted for the past twenty years from a 4x10' cell on San Quentin's Death Row.

This is a fascinating and thought-provoking memoir that delivers all the tension and suspense you might expect in a novel. It also reveals the kind of character development that comes at the price of freedom, where self-discipline and pivotal friendships form a powerful antidote to despair, and men continue to believe in the possibility of redemption against all odds.

I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend, and I pass along that recommendation because it is a timely gift for anyone who seeks freedom from his own preconceptions and limiting beliefs.
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