Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Trauma and Violence in the Lives of Young Black Men

Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Trauma and Violence in the Lives of Young Black Men

by John A. Rich
     
 

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Medical school taught John Rich how to deal with physical trauma in a big city hospital but not with the disturbing fact that young black men were daily shot, stabbed, and beaten. This is Rich’s account of his personal search to find sense in the juxtaposition of his life and theirs. His poignant portrait humanizes young black men and illustrates the

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Overview

Medical school taught John Rich how to deal with physical trauma in a big city hospital but not with the disturbing fact that young black men were daily shot, stabbed, and beaten. This is Rich’s account of his personal search to find sense in the juxtaposition of his life and theirs. His poignant portrait humanizes young black men and illustrates the complexity of a situation that defies easy answers and solutions.

"John Rich joins the ranks of Rachel Carson, Michael Harrington and Ralph Nader for bringing attention to a pervasive social problem with a fresh perspective and warranted urgency."— Publishers Weekly

"A concise yet powerful examination of urban violence from the perspectives of those on the receiving end."— Philadelphia Inquirer

"Powerful... Scholar-practitioners like Dr. John Rich are helping find the answers we urgently need to better understand the cycle of violence and save our children from being its next victims."—Marian Wright Edelman, Huffington Post

"Rich does not sugarcoat the cycle of violence or portray the African-American men who populate the book as saints. Rich does hold out hope, however slim, that understanding that all human beings have more commonalities than divergences could make a difference."— Raleigh News and Observer

"Written in a style that would make an accomplished novelist proud, the attention to detail is remarkable. Rich takes the reader with him on a voyage of discovery as he interviews each subject. The case studies are punctuated with his honest, insightful and informed reflections as he recounts the real-life experiences of young black men and their search for a way out of their almost impossible lifestyles."— Nursing Standard

"Those of us who spend time tracking violence and its impact on every aspect of life in urban America—as well as anyone with an ounce of humanity—ought to be thrilled to see a book like Wrong Place, Wrong Time come along. It looks beyond the gunplay, offering a window on urban violence by putting faces with the cold statistics and presenting stories in the victims' own words."— Washington Post

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Editorial Reviews

Colbert I. King
…those of us who spend time tracking violence and its impact on every aspect of life in urban America—as well as anyone with an ounce of humanity—ought to be thrilled to see a book like Wrong Place, Wrong Time come along. It looks beyond the gunplay, offering a window on urban violence by putting faces with the cold statistics and presenting stories in the victims' own words. The author, John A. Rich…comes to the subject from the vantage point of having worked on the problem at ground zero. As a primary-care physician at Boston City Hospital, known for its care of poor folks, especially those of color, Rich saw the wounds and scars of young black patients at the height of the time when shooting victims were arriving at the emergency room with the regularity of sunrise. Although set in Boston, Wrong Place, Wrong Time could have been written about young black men in Washington, Baltimore, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago or Los Angeles.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
The statistics startle: homicide death rates are more than 17 times higher for young black men than their white counterparts. Rich, chair of the department of health management and policy at the Drexel University School of Public Health, considers the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder on the survivors. His account is professional, as he finds analogies between his subjects and “combat veterans and victims of sexual assault,” and personal, as he reports “how spending hours and days with these young men transformed” him. Two particularly detailed moments stand out: one follows a young man through emergency room protocols, another follows Rich through prison visit procedures. Although Rich’s research spans two decades, he focuses most sharply upon four young men he encountered at Boston City Hospital. The “high level of violence in their communities makes young men feel physically, psychologically, and socially unsafe,” Rich observes; thus, ironically, these violent young men seem to be looking for safety in a violent world. Rich joins the ranks of Rachel Carson, Michael Harrington and Ralph Nader for bringing attention to a pervasive social problem with a fresh perspective and warranted urgency. (Dec.)
Washington Post - Colbert I. King

Those of us who spend time tracking violence and its impact on every aspect of life in urban America—as well as anyone with an ounce of humanity—ought to be thrilled to see a book like Wrong Place, Wrong Time come along. It looks beyond the gunplay, offering a window on urban violence by putting faces with the cold statistics and presenting stories in the victims' own words.

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Karen R. Long

In his vital new book, Wrong Place, Wrong Time, Rich lets the reader share and differentiate among the harrowing stories of young black men cut down by violence, stories he collected during the term of a five-year, $625,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Huffington Post - Marian Wright Edelman

Powerful... Scholar-practioners like Dr. John Rich are helping find the answers we urgently need to better understand the cycle of violence and save our children from being its next victims.

Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine - Judy Schaechter

Rather than dwell on statistics or prescribe policy, the stories reveal the human toll of violence and help explain the seemingly inexplicable levels of violence in particular communities. And like all good stories, they are both entertaining and edifying.

Annals of Emergency Medicine

Dr. Rich is an excellent writer. He is a passionate reporter who becomes one of his characters, as vulnerable as those he writes about.

Nursing Standard

Written in a style that would make an accomplished novelist proud, the attention to detail is remarkable. Rich takes the reader with him on a voyage of discovery as he interviews each subject. The case studies are punctuated with his honest, insightful and informed reflections as he recounts the real-life experiences of young black men and their search for a way out of their almost impossible lifestyles. The case studies are condensed summaries summaries of the author's involvement with these young men over a period of years.

Philadelphia Inquirer

A concise yet powerful examination of urban violence from the perspectives of those on the receiving end.

Baltimore City Paper

Wrong Place, Wrong Time calls us back to the table to see our safety as intimately connected to the safety of the young men we dismiss with cliche even as they become the prime bogeyman of our conscience in urban America.

Washington Examiner

A remarkable and sensitive account of [the author's] lengthy interviews with boys and young men who were rushed, bloodied and on gurneys, through the doors of the emergency room.

Raleigh News and Observer

Rich does not sugarcoat the cycle of violence or portray the African-American men who populate the book as saints. Rich does holds out hope, however slim, that understanding that all human beings have more commonalities than divergences could make a difference.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801896231
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
11/01/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
232
Sales rank:
631,280
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

John A. Rich, M.D., M.P.H., is the chair of and a professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the Drexel University School of Public Health, where he is also the director of the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice. A 2006 MacArthur Fellow, Rich founded the Young Men’s Health Clinic in Boston and is the former medical director of the Boston Public Health Commission. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2009.

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