East Side Stories: Gang Life in East L. A.

Overview

The myth of the tough urban gangster is a powerful--and widely misunderstood--pop-culture icon. East Side Stories showcases photographer Joseph Rodriguez's haunting and poetic images, humanizing official statistics and challenging media stereotypes. "East Side Stories is ultimately a profile of family, whether it is the nuclear family, the gang or the entire Mexican-American population of East Los Angeles. Various gangs are brought together in the book--appropriately, because underneath the rivalries, they are ...
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Overview

The myth of the tough urban gangster is a powerful--and widely misunderstood--pop-culture icon. East Side Stories showcases photographer Joseph Rodriguez's haunting and poetic images, humanizing official statistics and challenging media stereotypes. "East Side Stories is ultimately a profile of family, whether it is the nuclear family, the gang or the entire Mexican-American population of East Los Angeles. Various gangs are brought together in the book--appropriately, because underneath the rivalries, they are all members of the same community; Rodriguez reminds us this community is also part of our country." --The New York Times Book Review. "Joseph Rodriguez's photographs are like a slow float down the wide boulevards that L.A. made so famous. Bringing details into focus, Rodríguez's lens is the eye in the passenger seat, not just freezing but assessing the moment." --Los Angeles Times.
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Editorial Reviews

Christina Cho
Various gangs are brought together in the book -- appropriately, because underneath the rivalries, they are all members of the same community; Rodriguez reminds us this community is also part of our country. -- New York Times Book Review
Lynell George
Joseph Rodriguez's photographs are like a slow float down the wide boulevards that L.A. made so famous. . . With an introductory essay by journalist-essayist Rub&#233n Martinez and an interview with writer and youth activist Luis J. Rodriguez, a flip through East Side Stories is much more than just spoils from a parachute drop into the mix but, rather, an attempt to look at the mundane day-to-day, the minutes that fold into hours and ultimately make up lives. -- Los Angeles Times
New York Times Book Review
East Side Stories is ultimately a profile of family, whether it is the nuclear family, the gang or the entire Mexican-American population of East Los Angeles. Various gangs are brought together in the book -- appropriately, because underneath the rivalries, they are all members of the same community; Rodriguez reminds us this community is also part of our country.
Library Journal
Rodriguez, a freelance photographer whose work has appeared in Life, among other publications, traveled to Los Angeles in 1992 to try to understand--and convey to the public--the complexities behind the screaming headlines of gangland killings. His photographs of life in East-Side barrios as well as South Central neighborhoods often feature the expected guns and small groups of young men posing for the camera. But just as often the reader sees fathers with their children and other family groups, illuminating the innumerable lives that surround the gang experience. Excerpts from Rodriguez's journal bring the people to life, and Martinez's fluid, anecdotal essay on the trials of average people's lives in recent years in especially clear and moving. Only the photographer's interview with Luis Rodriguez (Always Running: La Vida Loca, Curbstone, 1993) disappoints with its impersonal rambling. A fine addition to the growing literature on gang life that belongs in photojournalism as well as subject collections; for larger public libraries.--Eric Bryant, "Library Journal"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781576870020
  • Publisher: powerHouse Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 190
  • Product dimensions: 10.38 (w) x 8.35 (h) x 0.78 (d)

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