A once over -- but not lightly -- of crime and punishment in the United States from the Revolution to the present written by the lawbreakers themselves... Their accounts are often fascinating, often compelling, and very human. The days of individual operations by horsethief and highwayman, and of gangs such as the Jennings and Daltons, have given way to modern free lancing, but more often highly organized mob schemes penetrating the nation's cities --networks of drug smuggling, syndicated sex... Following the accounts of criminal processes, the description of prison experiences including torture of sadistic ""man-breakers"", some by men who have devoted their lives to bettering conditions after release, reveal a far grimmer underworld than the original one. The results of such treatment and the difficulty of going straight in the face of one's record and bullying police follow. With such a book as My Six Convicts still in the air, this should appeal to some of its readers, and to people concerned with improving our laws and lawbreakers.