Hell’s Angels (book review)

hells_buyer1Well, I’m not sure what to think. I read this because of my book club, where we read Juan Thompson’s book “Stories I tell Myself”. He’s Hunter’s son, and writes well in his own right (and, works in Healthcare IT in Denver!). Moreover, this was an opportunity for me to read some literature of the Gonzo generation that I never got around to. Juan mentioned the lyricism of Hunter’s description of being on motorcycle barreling down Pacific Coast Highway at midnight. This prompted me to pull Hell’s Angels off my wife’s bookshelf, and then I was hooked.

Diving into the book, Hunter takes you inside the California Hell’s Angels, the (intentionally) bad press, why they smell bad, how “looking for a fight” gave them a raison d’etre, and perplexingly, how news coverage elevated them to a national phenomenon, when otherwise, they might have faded away. Its a love song about the dispossessed, beautifully reported and written.

It’s far from my personal experience, and an opportunity to walk a mile in shoes I would never otherwise wear.

CMIO’s take? There are leadership lessons everywhere you look: from brilliant police captains who narrowly avoid pitched battles using¬†mundane traffic cones and enforced curfews, to Hell’s Angels chapter leaders using nimble telephone trees to assemble a flash-mob, before there was such a thing as a flash-mob.

Author: CT Lin

CMIO, UCHealth (Colorado); Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

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