Cover image for Lazarus and the Hurricane : the freeing of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
Lazarus and the Hurricane : the freeing of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
Chaiton, Sam, 1950-
Personal Author:
First St. Martin's Griffin edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Griffin, 2000.

Physical Description:
ix, 344 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV6248.C34 C48 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HV6248.C34 C48 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HV6248.C34 C48 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

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This remarkable true story begins in a Brooklyn ghetto when a group of Canadians meet Lesra, an illiterate black teenager who won their hearts. They bring Lesra to Toronto to help with his education. While learning to read, Lesra finds a copy of Rubin Carter's The Sixteenth Round.

Rubin Carter, the subject of Bob Dylan's song "Hurricane", was a #1 middleweight boxing contender who had been wrongfully imprisoned after a white jury found him guilty of the murder of three whites in 1966. A huge public outcry followed the publication of Carter's memoir The Sixteenth Round in 1974, culminating in a retrial, which was a virtual reenactment of the original travesty, with Carter receiving the same triple-life sentence.

Inspired by Lesra's passion, his adopted Canadian family made contact with Carter and reinvigorated the legal battle. The Hurricane is the moving story of the eight year struggle Carter and his Canadian friends waged to win his exoneration and freedom.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

A pair of new releases accompany the upcoming release of the movie The Hurricane, in which Denzel Washington plays former top middleweight boxing contender Rubin Carter, who spent 20 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. This entry, billing itself as "a basis" for the film, was originally published in Canada in 1991 and now appears with a new, three-page epilogue. Written by two Canadians who, despite no formal legal training, joined the legal battle to free Carter, it has the advantage of an unusual inside perspective. Imprisoned in 1967 for the slaying of two white men and a white woman the previous year, Carter had already published a memoir (The Sixteenth Round), become a cause c‚lŠbre and inspired the Bob Dylan song "Hurricane" when Chaiton and Swinton stumbled upon his story in the late 1970s. He had also been retried and reconvicted. The authors were led to Carter's story through Lesra Martin, a young black man they befriended on a trip to Brooklyn and whom they invited to be a part of their commune in Toronto where they had been "living together in harmony for almost ten years." A letter from Martin, whose first name is a corruption of Lazarus, to the fighter established a connection that resulted in the authors eventually moving to New Jersey to become full-time members of Carter's legal research team. Although it's a serviceable chronicle of Carter's fight for freedom, the book is strangely lacking in the passionate intimacy of an insider. Written in the third person, the text regularly refers to the authors themselves and their friends as "the Canadians." It asserts that they would "do anything" to help Carter's cause, but it doesn't shed much light, beyond an implied desire to right wrong, on their motivation. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Adopted by a group of Canadians (including the authors) who help him learn to read, a black teenager from Brooklyn comes upon Rubin "Hurricane" Carter's account of his false murder conviction and helps renew efforts to free the boxer from jail. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Authors' Notep. xi
Peace Bridgep. 1
Part 1 Taking an Ellp. 5
Part 2 Recalled to Lifep. 65
Part 3 Prevailing Windp. 183
Epiloguep. 326
Appendix A "Hurricane"p. 331
Appendix B The Carter Case--A Twenty-Two-Year Chronologyp. 335
Indexp. 339
About the Authorsp. 345