The Life and Death of Sam Crow: How the Sons of Anarchy Lost Their Way is a manuscript/journal on the FX original series Sons of Anarchy. Written by Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club founder John Teller, the journal about SAMCRO plays an important role in shaping the series' overall plot.
John began writing the journal after the death of his youngest son, Thomas, and completed it on March 15, 1993. The main theme of the book is John's regrets about what SAMCRO had become, and what his original idea for the club was. In the pilot episode, Jackson 'Jax' Teller found his father's book in storage and began to read it. At the end of the series' first season, Gemma Teller Morrow found and took the original and partially burnt copy, but Jax was given a copy by Piermont 'Piney' Winston at Donna Winston's funeral. In Season 2 Jax gives the book to Tara Knowles and Harry 'Opie' Winston to read.
During Season 5, Jax was seen starting to write his own manuscript in a book, but was interrupted by Alex 'Tig' Trager and Filip 'Chibs' Telford. At the end of the series, he's seen burning all copies of both his father's and his manuscripts, a move to break the cycle for the sake of his sons.
Jax sees his father's idea of the club more as a hippie/biker commune, rather than a gun-running operation. The manuscript points out what the club started as, and how it went wrong.
I found myself lost in my own club. I trusted few, feared most. Nomad offered escape and exile. I didn't know if leaving would cure or kill this thing we created. I didn't know if it was an act of strength or cowardice. I didn't know, so I stayed. I stayed because, in the end, the only way I could hold this up was to suffer under the weight of it.
-When we take action to avenge the ones we love personal justice collides with social and divine justice. We become judge, jury, and God. With that choice comes daunting responsibility. Some men cave under that weight. Others abuse the momentum. The true outlaw finds the balance between the passion in his heart and the reason in his mind. His solution is always an equal mix of might and right.
-Einstein said that any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. But it takes a touch of genius and lots of courage to move something in the opposite direction. I'm realizing that my touch of genius and my courage are coming too little, too late. And I fear that for SAMCRO, there may be no opposite direction.
-The concept was pure, simple, true, it inspired me, led a rebellious fire, but ultimately I learned the lesson that Goldman, Prudot and the others learned. That true freedom requires sacrifice and pain. Most human beings only think they want freedom. In truth they yearn for the bondage of social order, rigid laws, materialism, the only freedom man really wants, is the freedom to become comfortable.
-I realized that in my downward spiral of hopelessness I was actually falling into a huge hole created by my absence of basic human graces. The most obvious was forgiveness. If I was wronged by anyone, in or out of the club, I had to be compensated by money or blood. There was no turning the other cheek. When relationships become a ledger of profit and loss, you have no friends, no loved ones, just pluses and minuses. You are absolutely alone.
-I never made a conscious decision to have the club become one thing or another. It just happened before my eyes. Each savage event was a catalyst for the next. And by the time the violence reached epic proportion, I couldn't see it. Blood was every color.
-Inside the club, there had to be truth. Our word was our honor. But outside, it was all about deception. Lies were our defense, our default. To survive, you had to master the art of perjury. The lie and the truth had to feel the same. But once you learned that skill, nobody knows the truth in or outside the club; especially you.