"The reader will be as much thrilled by the story of the escapes as he will be shocked by the descriptions of chain gang life."
—Times Literary Supplement
In 1921, Robert E. Burns was a shell-shocked and penniless veteran who found himself at the mercy of Georgia's barbaric penal system when he fell in with a gang of petty thieves. Sentenced to six to ten years' hard labor for his part in a robbery that netted less than $6.00, Burns was shackled to a county chain gang. After four months of backbreaking work, he made a daring escape, dodging shotgun blasts, racing through swamps, and eluding bloodhounds on his way north.
For seven years Burns lived as a free man. He married and became a prosperous Chicago businessman and publisher. When he fell in love with another woman, however, his jealous wife turned him in to the police, who arrested him as a fugitive from justice. Although he was promised lenient treatment and a quick pardon, he was back on a chain gang within a month. Undaunted, Burns did the impossible and escaped a second time, this time to New Jersey. He was still a hunted man living in hiding when this book was first published in 1932.
The book and its movie version, nominated for a Best Picture Oscar in 1933, shocked the world by exposing Georgia's brutal treatment of prisoners. I Am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang! is a daring and heartbreaking book, an odyssey of misfortune, love, betrayal, adventure, and, above all, the unshakable courage and inner strength of the fugitive himself.
Read more about Burns's book at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.
List price: $24.95
View Shopping Cart
List price: $19.95
Check ebook availability