If Bill Dallas didn’t have it all, he had most of it. A diploma from a prestigious university, a lucrative career as a top California real estate entrepreneur, and more than enough money to fund a life filled with sports cars, penthouses, and beautiful women. And then it all fell apart. Convicted of grand theft embezzlement, the former golden boy found himself in one of the nation’s most infamous institutions—San Quentin, home of “the worst of the worst.” He thought it was the end of everything. But the real story was about to begin.
Lessons from San Quentin chronicles Bill’s journey from narcissistic playboy . . . to suicidal inmate . . . to spiritual apprentice. Along the way, it introduces us to his unlikely mentors—San Quentin’s “Lifers,” who guided Bill to an unexpected relationship with God. Through a vivid and transparent recounting of stories from his prison experience, Bill shares 12 life principles he had to learn the hard way—and that can help you triumph over even the most difficult circumstances.
The CEO of Church Communications Network wraps his story of going to prison around the core principles of life he learned there. With coauthor Barna, a researcher and cultural critic, Dallas tells stories of people he meets in San Quentin prison; the group he learns the most from are the Lifers, those sentenced to life terms in prison. One of the long-term men Dallas meets who shapes his experiences is Vy Le, a Vietnamese immigrant who conquered revenge through a relationship with Jesus that began in an isolation cell. A central feature in the book is a section in each chapter with principles that center on humility, determination and trust in God. Otherwise good stories are told with a lack of suspense and drama in favor of highlighting principles. Readers will also find a challenging series of questions to help them discover how self-absorbed they are. Those looking for riches-to-rags-to-success stories will find a passionate case for avoiding the pitfalls of the financial crime Dallas committed and living a principled life.