Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club

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9781841153360: Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club
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The autobiography – the dangerous life and wild times – of Sonny Barger, the legendary leader of the Hell’s Angels.

Sonny Barger is the Hell’s Angel of all Hell’s Angels, the motorcycle club that has been the scourge of America for over forty years.

Sonny was their de facto leader for much of that time, the man who Hunter S. Thompson immortalised in his 1965 classic Hells Angels, noting ‘Barger is nothing short of Winston Churchill when it comes to leading people’. He’s been called an American legend and he’s feared and revered by people on both sides of the law. From the club’s formation in the 1940s to the height of their notoriety twenty years later, from Sonny’s first-hand account of what really happened with the Rolling Stones at Altamont to his periods of imprisonment, from his fights with rival gangs and the police to his own battle with cancer, ‘Hell’s Angel’ sets the record straight.

Sonny Barger has ridden with the Angels for forty years, obeying no law but that of the HAMC. For the first time, this is his own – and their own – story.

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Review:

"Probably the most powerful and well known outlaw motorcyclist in the country." So began one of Ralph "Sonny" Barger's many police rap sheets from the 1970s, and for good reason. Barger, immortalised in Hunter S Thompson's book Hell's Angels and star of the biker movie Hell's Angels 69 has, and to many people remains, the de facto "Chief" of America's Hell's Angels bikers. In Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club, the biker from hell finally tells the whole story of nearly 50 years riding at the head of the Angels.

Hells Angel is a very brutal, honest book, and isn't for the politically sensitive or those who want a romantic account of post-war American subcultural life. It is, however, a fascinating story of Barger's life and scrapes. Growing up in Oakland, northern California, Barger was kicked out of the army for enlisting underage, and then set up his own Hell' s Angels in 1957, with the sole intention "to party and ride". "As our membership grew, we began to look like an army", and the stories pile up thick and fast of the increasing controversy that gathered around the Angels from the early 60s onwards. The use of Nazi regalia, the fights, the booze, the parties and the "old ladies" of the 1960s give way to the darker side of the Angels, with charges of beatings, kidnappings, murders and drug dealing in the 1970s (all of which Barger has been charged with at some time or another, as his helpful appendix of arrests, "The Rap-Up"). The later stages of the book are as Barger admits "one big blurry court trial" as the police tried to nail him for conspiracy throughout the 1980s, but the most interesting moments come with Barger's vivid (and often scathing) accounts of Hunter S Thompson, Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, Jack Nicholas, and Mick Jagger, during the infamous Rolling Stones concert at Altamont in 1969. Hell's Angel is quite a story, and told by quite a survivor. --Jerry Brotton

Review:

"The hombre who gave you motorcycle culture.The biker style that Barger originated remains timeless." -- Chicago Tribune

"Maybe the baddest man on two wheels." -- Rolling Stone

"A ripping good read.as gripping a tale as you would expect from the most famous pack of all time." -- New Times Los Angeles

"One of the best books of the year." -- Maxim

"Not your ordinary book.A peek at another side of America." -- Tulsa World

One of the best books of the year. --Maxim

"The hombre who gave you motorcycle culture...The biker style that Barger originated remains timeless."--Chicago Tribune

"Maybe the baddest man on two wheels."--Rolling Stone

"Hell's Angel chieftain Ralph 'Sonny' Barger has led one interesting, bad-to-the-bone life."--Seattle Times

"Barger's autobiography is about as subtle as a kick in the groin, and that's what's so refreshing about it."--San Francisco Chronicle

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780060937546: Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club

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ISBN 10:  0060937548 ISBN 13:  9780060937546
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks, 2001
Softcover

9780688176938: Hell's Angel: the Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club

Willia..., 2000
Hardcover

9780061014918: Hell's Angel : The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club

Harper..., 1975
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