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American biker : the history, the clubs, the lifestyle, the truth - OWWL
The group is enrolled as part of an official motorcycle safety mentorship program in cooperation with the United States Army. An academic paper on the organization and its context in African-American culture described it as a "unique recreational, service , and educational organization". Anyone with a felony conviction is barred from membership.
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I don t live the lifestyle but I envy it. I am fascinated by it and anything to do with motorcycles.
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I m an enthusiast, not a biker. I read this book with some mixed emotions on whether I liked it or not. After reading it from cover to cover it inspired introspection on my part so I have to say it was a great book! Many a book can be good and educate you, but how many books challenge you and leave you thinking deep thoughts about what it is you hope to accomplish in your short time on this planet as a special guest in the biker culture?
That is the affect this book had on me. I can t help but try to compare this book to One Percenter by Dave Nichols. Dave is the Editor of Easyriders and Bill has been a columnist for Easyriders.
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Both authors cover many of the same topics giving a history lesson of how this phenomenon of the American Biker came to be. The style of the two books however come across totally different. I reviewed One Percenter and likened it to a text book. It is put together well and published by a Motorbooks Publishing, a fairly large publisher. American Biker comes across less polished but with more edge. This is not the product of large corporate America.
This book is the product of a small independant publishing company dedicated to the truth about this culture. This book was written by a man who has seen this culture from the inside and had a burning in his gut to tell you the truth about it with passion from his own personal view! And so he does!
As I read it I felt like this old school biker had grabbed me by the ear, sat me down, told me to shut up and schooled me in everything related the the club culture.
I imagined us drinking a few beers as he lectured me on the way it was and the way it is! Now we have at least two books covering the history of motorcycle clubs.
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If you are an old school biker like Bill Hayes and Sonny Barger you don t need to read a book on this subject because you know. You were there.
American Biker: The History, The Clubs, The Lifestyle, The Truth
Then why write the book? I think the first reason is to educate people like me. They need to understand how this sport and this fraterntiy came to be so they can respect it. Secondly the Old School Bikers of the 50 s and 60 s who created this lifestyle, who molded this image, will pass.