Dismissed by the police as mere adjuncts to or gofers for male gangs, girl gang members are in fact often as emotionally closed off and dangerous as their male counterparts. Carrying razor blades in their mouths and guns in their jackets for defense, they initiate drive-by shootings, carry out car jackings, stomp outsiders who stumble onto or dare to enter the neighborhood, viciously retaliate against other gangs and ferociously guard their home turf.But Sikes also captures the differences that distinguish girl gangs-abortion, teen pregnancy and teen motherhood, endless beatings and the humiliation of being forced to have sex with a lineup of male gangbangers during initiation, haphazardly raising kids in a household of drugs and guns with a part-time boyfriend off gangbanging himself. Veteran journalist Gini Sikes spends a year in the ghettos following the lives of several key gang members in South Central Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Milwaukee. In 8 Ball Chicks, we discover the fear and desperate desire for respect and status that drive girls into gangs in the first place--and the dreams and ambitions that occasionally help them to escape the catch-22 of their existence.
From Los Angeles and New York to Chicago and Miami, street gangs are regarded as one of the most intractable crime problems facing our cities, and a vast array of resources is being deployed to combat them. This book chronicles the astounding self-transformation of one of the most feared gangs in the United States into a social movement acting on behalf of the dispossessed, renouncing violence and the underground economy, and requiring school attendance for membership.What caused the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation of New York City to make this remarkable transformation? And why has it not happened to other gangs elsewhere? David C. Brotherton and Luis Barrios were given unprecedented access to new and never-before-published material by and about the Latin Kings and Queens, including the group's handbook, letters written by members, poems, rap songs, and prayers. In addition, they interviewed more than one hundred gang members, including such leaders as King Tone and King Hector. Featuring numerous photographs by award-winning photojournalist Steve Hart, the book explains the symbolic significance for the gang of hand gestures, attire, rituals, and rites of passage. Based on their inside information, the authors craft a unique portrait of the lives of the gang members and a ground-breaking study of their evolution.
The award-winning and bestselling classic memoir about a young Chicano gang member surviving the dangerous streets of East Los Angeles, now featuring a new introduction by the author.Winner of the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, hailed as a New York Times notable book, and read by hundreds of thousands, Always Running is the searing true story of one man's life in a Chicano gang--and his heroic struggle to free himself from its grip. By age twelve, Luis Rodriguez was a veteran of East Los Angeles gang warfare. Lured by a seemingly invincible gang culture, he witnessed countless shootings, beatings, and arrests and then watched with increasing fear as gang life claimed friends and family members. Before long, Rodriguez saw a way out of the barrio through education and the power of words and successfully broke free from years of violence and desperation. Achieving success as an award-winning poet, he was sure the streets would haunt him no more--until his young son joined a gang. Rodriguez fought for his child by telling his own story in Always Running, a vivid memoir that explores the motivations of gang life and cautions against the death and destruction that inevitably claim its participants. At times heartbreakingly sad and brutal, Always Running is ultimately an uplifting true story, filled with hope, insight, and a hard-earned lesson for the next generation.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, the White House announced with great fanfare that 100 FBI counterintelligence agents would be reassigned. Their new target: street gangs. Americans--filled with fear of crack-dealing gangs--cheered the decision, as did many big-city police departments. But this highly publicized move could be an experience in futility, suggests Malcolm Klein: for one thing, most street gangs have little to do with the drug trade.
The American Street Gang provides the finest portrait of this subject ever produced--a detailed accounting, through statistics, interviews, and personal experience, of what street gangs are, how they have changed, their involvement in drug sales, and why we have not been able to stop them. Klein has been studying street gangs for more than thirty years, and he brings a sophisticated understanding of the problem to bear in this often surprising book. In contrast to the image of rigid organization and military-style leadership we see in the press, he writes, street gangs are usually loose bodies of associates, with informal and multiple leadership. Street gangs, he makes clear, are quite distinct from drug gangs--though they may share individual members. In a drug-selling operation tight discipline is required--the members are more like employees--whereas street gangs are held together by affiliation and common rivalries, with far less discipline. With statistics and revealing anecdotes, Klein offers a strong critique of the approach of many law enforcement agencies, which have demonized street gangs while ignoring the fact that they are the worst possible bodies for running disciplined criminal operations--let alone colonizing other cities. On the other hand, he shows that street gangs do spur criminal activity, and he demonstrates the shocking rise in gang homicides and the proliferation of gangs across America. Ironically, he writes, the liberal approach to gangs advocated by many (assigning a social worker to a gang, organizing non-violent gang activities) can actually increase group cohesion, which leads to still more criminal activity. And programs to erode that cohesion, Klein tells us from personal experience, can work--but they require intensive, exhausting effort.
Street gangs are a real and growing problem in America--but the media and many law enforcement officials continue to dispense misleading ideas about what they are and what they do. In The American Street Gang, Malcolm Klein challenges these assumptions with startling new evidence that must be understood if we are to come to grips with this perceived crisis.
Two of today's top investigative journalists discovered the reality of the world's most foremost biker gang -- The Hells Angels. With an estimated 2,500 members in 25 countries, the Hells Angels have inspired a global subculture of violence and fear. Sher and Marsden unflinching look at how law enforcement agencies worldwide are trying to stop -- with little success -- the biker gangs from spreading their violent outlaw creed around the world.
John Roberts was named to the Supreme Court in 2005 claiming he would act as a neutral umpire in deciding cases. His critics argue he has been anything but, pointing to his conservative victories on voting rights and campaign finance. Yet he broke from orthodoxy in his decision to preserve Obamacare. How are we to understand the motives of the most powerful judge in the land?
In The Chief, award-winning journalist Joan Biskupic contends that Roberts is torn between two, often divergent, priorities: to carry out a conservative agenda, and to protect the Court's image and his place in history. Biskupic shows how Roberts's dual commitments have fostered distrust among his colleagues, with major consequences for the law. Trenchant and authoritative, The Chief reveals the making of a justice and the drama on this nation's highest court.
In Chinatown Gangs, Ko-lin Chin penetrates a closed society and presents a rare portrait of the underworld of New York City's Chinatown. Based on first-hand accounts from gang members, gang victims, community leaders, and law enforcement authorities, this pioneering study reveals the pervasiveness, the muscle, the longevity, and the institutionalization of Chinatown gangs. Chin reveals the fear gangs instill in the Chinese community. At the same time, he shows how the economic viability of the community is sapped, and how gangs encourage lawlessness, making a mockery of law enforcement agencies.Ko-lin Chin makes clear that gang crime is inexorably linked to Chinatown's political economy and social history. He shows how gangs are formed to become "equalizers" within a social environment where individual and group conflicts, whether social, political, or economic, are unlikely to be solved in American courts. Moreover, Chin argues that Chinatown's informal economy provides yet another opportunity for street gangs to become "providers" or "protectors" of illegal services. These gangs, therefore, are the pathological manifestation of a closed community, one whose problems are not easily seen--and less easily understood--by outsiders. Chin's concrete data on gang characteristics, activities, methods of operation and violence make him uniquely qualified to propose ways to restrain gang violence, and Chinatown Gangs closes with his specific policy suggestions. It is the definitive study of gangs in an American Chinatown.
Now one of Kirkus Reviews' "Best Books of the Year"
From Paul French, the New York Times bestselling author of Midnight in Peking--winner of both the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime and the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction--comes City of Devils, a rags-to-riches tale of two self-made men set against a backdrop of crime and vice in the sprawling badlands of Shanghai.
Shanghai, 1930s: It was a haven for outlaws from all over the world: a place where pasts could be forgotten, fascism and communism outrun, names invented, and fortunes made--and lost.
"Lucky" Jack Riley was the most notorious of those outlaws. An ex-U.S. Navy boxing champion, he escaped from prison and rose to become the Slots King of Shanghai. "Dapper" Joe Farren--a Jewish boy who fled Vienna's ghetto--ruled the nightclubs. His chorus lines rivaled Ziegfeld's.
In 1940, Lucky Jack and Dapper Joe bestrode the Shanghai Badlands like kings, while all around the Solitary Island was poverty, starvation, and war. They thought they ruled Shanghai, but the city had other ideas. This is the story of their rise to power, their downfall, and the trail of destruction left in their wake. Shanghai was their playground for a flickering few years, a city where for a fleeting moment even the wildest dreams could come true.
Based on the original Chicago gang research website, Compliments of Chicagohoodz analyzes the unique visual language and graphics of the city's street gangs, drawing upon decades of research, interviews, documentation and collecting of memorabilia, and featuring commentary from gang members (including artists Robert N. Taylor and Jack Walls). The now bygone practice of creating and distributing gang business ("compliment") cards was popular in Chicago for over 50 years. These displayed the organization and branch; its active and fallen members; and rivalries. This collection deciphers their hieroglyphics (ranging from early stock images to elaborate hand-drawn designs), touches upon the gang's history, their neighborhoods, and era in which the card was made. It tells the stories behind the names, bringing the reader closer to the individuals who created, owned and added their personal touches to the card as it passed from hand to hand. "Jinx's" photographic documentation of gang graffiti and members captures a lost era of large scale full color promotional murals, and an extraordinary style distinct within street art. The book explores other forms of representation including modified varsity-style sweaters, patches and drawings. Through these images, Chicagohoodz traces the development and consolidation of the neighborhood street organization: from doo wop to hip hop, from greasers to gangster rap; from dances, bands and softball teams, to racketeering, narcotics trafficking and domestic terror. This story of ethnic warfare, multi-racial coalitions and shifting alliances has been ignored by many who wish the culture didn't exist, but is a history of the city nonetheless.
Do or Die is the first insider account of teenage gangs--the lives, loves, and battles of children who kill--from the only journalist ever allowed inside this closed and dangerous world.
This is no West Side Story. Welcome to a world where teenagers wear colostomy bags and have scrapbooks filled with funeral invitations; where a young man, after being shot in the chest, drives himself to the hospital; where another youngster, caught in crossfire, uses his girlfriend as a human shield; where teenage gangsters are kidnapped, tortured, and held for six-figure ransoms; where kids hum the latest movie's theme music while killing people. It's a world of clickheads, sherms, bangers, ballers, and mummyheads; a world where the strongest feelings of family come from other gang members; a world where the most potent feelings of self-worth come from murder.