John Barker was arrested in 1971 and sentenced to ten years imprisonment at the Old Bailey for his part in the ‘Angry Brigade’ conspiracy trial. It was the longest trial in English legal history. He was released in 1978. ‘Bending the Bars’ is his account of those seven years. ‘Wild guys inside the fish-tank; Bending the Bars is a unique voice of prison life without gangster chic.’ Peter Kravitz Edinburgh Review
‘Prison books often offer readers moral platitudes...likewise books by and about political prisoners are sometimes deliberately designed to build a hierarchical cult around wronged martyrs...John Barker’s book is different since he uses a class rather than a moral perspective.
Barker writes about his own subjective experiences of prison, but by repeatedly signalling his awareness of the multiplicity of views he’s heard other cons express about incarceration, he deftly avoids privileging his own take on this matter over that of anyone else.’ Stewart Home Mute magazine
Bending the Bars : Prison Stories of an Angry Brigade Member - John Barker
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