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The Life Inside: A Memoir of Prison, Philosophy and Family - Andy West

9781529032017

Andy West teaches philosophy in prisons. He has conversations with prisoners about their lives, discusses their ideas and feelings, and offers new ways to think about their situation. These questions about how to live are ones we all share, but the extraordinary setting makes them more urgent. Can bad behaviour ever be justified? Do we have the right to forgive ourselves, whether we've committed a crime or offended a friend? Can a prisoner be free? Are they any less free than those of us with a mortgage to pay or a school-run to do?

As his students discuss these knotty problems, West struggles with his own inherited guilt: his father, uncle and brother all spent serious time in jail. Was it inevitable that one day he would have to spend time inside too?

Moving, sympathetic, wise and frequently funny, The Life Insideis an elegantly written and unforgettable book. Through its blend of memoir, storytelling and gentle philosophical questioning, readers will gain a new insight into our justice system and, more importantly, into themselves.

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