March 27th, 2011 Comments Off on Introduction
This is a true story, told in the idiom of the people about whom the tale is written. “In The Iron Cage” is not a pretty book, a bed time story, but it is a deadly accurate portrayal of the life led by at least one of the many men in the nether world of the migrant farm workers in our midst.
It is also an accurate, no punches pulled, story of what prisons and reformatories are really like, not what we imagine them to be.
In two cases where it was necessary to use a fictitious name to protect a lady’s reputation for virtue, the true identity has been spared. Other real names have also been spared when perhaps they should not have been, but some names of prisoners, prison officials and politicians have not been changed and are real.
One of the many ironies in this book is that a man who is himself extremely violent would have been so often provoked to over-reaction when violence was done to others.
Then there is the matter of caste. Had Ernesto Rodriguez been born in any other place, to parents of other, higher expectations, the reader can only speculate about how different this talented, tough man’s life might have been.