From Publishers Weekly
Convicted murderers Rideau and Wikberg began contributing articles to the Angolite , the best-known prison newspaper in the U.S., shortly after receiving life sentences in the 1960s. From the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, the newspaper's editor-in-chief Rideau (once a death row inmate), associate editor Wikberg and other inmates write with grace, detail and well-balanced insight about Angola's history (musicans Leadbelly and Charles Neville have been confined there), sexual assault, prison politics, death in prison and procedures of prison executions. Articles in the Angolite have won the George Polk and other journalism awards. Editors' notes usefully update these pieces, first published between 1978 and 1990. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"...required reading for all fifty United States governors and for all present and future Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates...the most convincing argument I have read against our nationwide desire to deal with lawbreakers by 'locking 'em up and throwing away the key.'"
-- Russell Banks, The New York Times Book Review
"Life Sentences is an aberration. Out of the violence, madness and uselessness has come a work of uncommon and lasting value."
-- Colman McCarthy, Washington Post Book World
"Life Sentences is an extraordinary act of courage that should prick the conscience of every American. Rideau and Wikberg take readers inside the bowels of Angola...Within such a manmade hell, they become living proof that some can rise above the cesspool despite colossal odds."
-- Pete Earley, author of The Hothouse: Life Inside Leavenworth Prison