Gangs: Stories of Life and Death from the Streets

Gangs: Stories of Life and Death from the Streets

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by Sean Donahue
     
 

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Gang life is both the starting point and the dark side of the American dream. Ethnic groups and immigrants have long turned to gangs for protection and support when it was offered nowhere else. From the Five Points to South Central L.A., Bowery Boys to Bloods and Crips, the James gang to gangsta rap, gangs offer a largely urban version of the American frontier:… See more details below

Overview


Gang life is both the starting point and the dark side of the American dream. Ethnic groups and immigrants have long turned to gangs for protection and support when it was offered nowhere else. From the Five Points to South Central L.A., Bowery Boys to Bloods and Crips, the James gang to gangsta rap, gangs offer a largely urban version of the American frontier: an opportunity and a refuge for society’s outlaws, outcasts, and outsiders. Featuring superb writing drawn from the best fiction, nonfiction, and journalism, Gangs takes the reader on a tour of this underground, from accounts of New York’s violent past by Herbert Asbury (The Gangs of New York) and Mark Helprin (A Winter’s Tale) to Hunter S. Thompson’s unflinching report from within the Hell’s Angels and T. J. English inside America’s most notorious Vietnamese gang. Other selections bring readers into the Irish, Italian, and Jewish Mobs as well as the Triads of America’s Chinatowns, and chart the role of the vicious drug trade in contemporary gang life. With photographs and its wild and turbulent tour through the American underworld, Gangs paints a visceral and fascinating picture of a part of the American experience that is more nightmare than dream.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A growing social problem, gangs exist all over the United States, from the large urban areas where they are "expected" to the suburbs and even small towns. Journalist and editor Donahue has assembled an informative collection of articles and book excerpts, both fiction and nonfiction, from qualified authors who include Mark Helprin, Herbert Asbury, and Hunter S. Thompson. They discuss such topics as soccer hooliganism, national "super" gangs such as the Bloods and the Crips, skinheads and neo-Nazi groups, the early gangs found in New York City (e.g., Dead Rabbits), the criminal and deviant activities of gang members, female gangs, and the Mexican Mafia (Le Eme). They illustrate gangs' resistance to society's rules and how they create private worlds complete with elaborate codes (centered around a demand for respect), symbolism highlighted by graffiti, social rituals, and standards of expected behavior. This volume is not a comprehensive review of gang literature, but it does provide insightful supplemental information. Recommended for collections in criminology and deviant behavior.-Tim Delaney, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560254256
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
09/28/2002
Series:
Adrenaline Series
Pages:
364
Sales rank:
593,003
Product dimensions:
6.08(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.95(d)

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