The only authorized, authentic book about the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club by founding member, Sonny Barger--featuring a brand new introduction
Narrated by the visionary founding member, Hell's Angel provides a fascinating all-access pass to the secret world of the notorious Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club. Sonny Barger recounts the birth of the original Oakland Hell's Angels and the four turbulent decades that followed. Hell's Angel also chronicles the way the HAMC revolutionized the look of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle and built what has become a worldwide bike-riding fraternity, a beacon for freedom-seekers the world over.
Dozens of photos, including many from private collections and from noted photographers, provide visual documentation to this extraordinary tale. Never simply a story about motorcycles, colorful characters, and high-speed thrills, Hell's Angel is the ultimate outlaw's tale of loyalty and betrayal, subcultures and brotherhood, and the real price of freedom.
The incredible true story of the US Post Office Inspector who took down the deadly Black Hand, a turn-of-the-century Italian-American secret society that preyed on immigrants across America's industrial heartland--featuring fascinating and never-before-seen documents and photos from the Oldfield family's private collection.Before the emergence of prohibition-era gangsters like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, there was the Black Hand: an early twentieth-century Sicilian-American crime ring that preyed on immigrants from the old country. In those days, the FBI was in its infancy, and local law enforcement were clueless against the dangers--most refused to believe that organized crime existed. Terrorized victims rarely spoke out, and the criminals ruled with terror--until Inspector Frank Oldfield came along. In 1899, Oldfield became America's 156th Post Office Inspector--joining the ranks of the most powerful federal law enforcement agents in the country. Based in Columbus, Ohio, the unconventional Oldfield brilliantly took down train robbers, murderers, and embezzlers from Ohio to New York to Maryland. Oldfield was finally able to penetrate the dreaded Black Hand when a tip-off put him onto the most epic investigation of his career, culminating in the 1909 capture of sixteen mafiosos in a case that spanned four states, two continents--and ended in the first international organized crime conviction in the country. Hidden away by the Oldfield family for one hundred years and covered-up by rival factions in the early 20th century Post Office Department, this incredible true story out of America's turn-of-the-century heartland will captivate all lovers of history and true crime.
Luis Rodriguez, author of the award-winning and bestselling classic memoir Always Running, chronicles his harrowing journey from a drugged-out gang member to one of the most revered figures in Chicano literature.Hundreds of thousands of readers came to know Luis J. Rodriguez through his fearless classic, Always Running, which chronicled his early life as a young Chicano gang member surviving the dangerous streets of East Los Angeles. The long-awaited follow-up, It Calls You Back is the equally harrowing story of Rodriguez starting over, at age eighteen, after leaving gang life--the only life he really knew. The book opens with Rodriguez's final stint in jail as a teenager and follows his struggle to kick heroin, renounce his former life, and search for meaningful work. He describes with heartbreaking honesty his challenges as a father, and his difficulty leaving his rages and addictions completely behind. Even as he breaks with "la vida loca" and begins to discover success as a writer and an activist, Rodriguez finds that his past--the crimes, the drugs, the things he'd seen and done--has a way of calling him back. When his oldest son is sent to prison for attempted murder, Rodriguez is forced to confront his shortcomings as a father, and to acknowledge how and why his own history is repeating itself, right before his eyes. Deeply insightful and beautifully written, It Calls You Back is an odyssey through love, addiction, revolutions, and healing.
Offering a rarely seen female perspective on gang life, this raw and powerful memoir tells not only of one woman's struggle to survive the streets but also of her ascent to the top ranks of the new mafia, where the only people more dangerous than rival gangs were members of her own. At age 5 Sonia Rodriguez's stepfather began to abuse her; at 10 she was molested by her uncle and beaten by her mother when she told on him; and by 13 her home had become a hangout for the Latin Kings and Queens who were friends with her older sister. Threatened by rival gang members at school, Sonia turned away from her education and extracurricular activities in favor of a world of drugs and violence. The Latin Kings, one of the largest and most notorious street gangs in America, became her refuge, but its violence cost her friends, freedom, self-respect, and nearly her life. As a Latin Queen, she experienced the exhilarating highs and unbelievable lows of gang life. From being shot at by her own gang and kicked out at age 18 with an infant daughter to rejoining the gang and distinguishing herself as a leader, her legacy as Lady Q was cemented both for her willingness to commit violence and for her role as a drug mule.
This study is based on three years of field work with ninety-nine active gang members and twenty-four family members. The book describes the attractiveness of gangs, the process of joining, their chaotic and loose organization, and their members' predominant activities--mostly hanging out, drinking, and using drugs--and their rather slapdash involvement in major property crime and drug traffic. Extensive interviews with family members provide groundbreaking insights into the gang members' lives, and the story is told largely in the gang members' own words.
This title provides a new look at gangs in every part of the world which deliberately avoids the stories that have been done to death and focuses on less well-known gangs such as 'Ma' Barker's Boys; the Smaldones of Denver; Scotland Yard's 1960s' Flying Squad, the so-called Firm within a Firm; and much more.
Go deep into the L.A. underworld with the true story of one obsessive gangster's unparalleled quest for privilege, power, and paydays
This biography of celebrity gangster Mickey Cohen digs past the sensational headlines to deliver a remarkable story of a man who captivated, corrupted, and terrorized Los Angeles for a generation.
When Bugsy Siegel was murdered, his henchman Mickey Cohen took over the criminal activity in Los Angeles. Mickey Cohen attained such power and dominance from the late 1940s until 1976 that he was a regular above-the-fold newspaper name, accumulating a remarkable count of more than 1,000 front-pages in Los Angeles papers alone, and was featured in hundreds of articles in national and international periodicals. His story and the history of mid-century L.A. are inextricably intertwined.
Mickey Cohen is a seductive, premium-octane blend of true crime and Hollywood that spins around a wildly eccentric mob boss. Author Tere Tereba delivers tales of high life, high drama, and highly placed politicians, among them RFK and Richard Nixon, as well as revelations about countless icons, including Shirley Temple, Lana Turner, Frank Sinatra, and the Reverend Billy Graham. Meticulously researched, this rich tapestry presents a complete look at the Los Angeles underworld.
Written in solitary confinement, Kody Scott's memoir of sixteen years as a gangbanger in Los Angeles was a searing best-seller and became a classic, published in ten languages, with more than 300,000 copies in print in the United States alone. After pumping eight blasts from a sawed-off shotgun at a group of rival gang members, twelve-year-old Kody Scott was initiated into the L.A. gang the Crips. He quickly matured into one of the most formidable Crip combat soldiers, earning the name -Monster- for committing acts of brutality and violence that repulsed even his fellow gang members. When the inevitable jail term confined him to a maximum-security cell, a complete political and personal transformation followed: from Monster to Sanyika Shakur, black nationalist, member of the New Afrikan Independence Movement, and crusader against the causes of gangsterism. In a document that has been compared to The Autobiography of Malcolm X and Eldridge Cleaver's Soul on Ice, Shakur makes palpable the despair and decay of America's inner cities and gives eloquent voice to one aspect of the black ghetto experience today.
Looking for an escape from childhood abuse, Reymundo Sanchez turned away from school and baseball to drugs, alcohol, and then sex, and was left to fend for himself before age 14. The Latin Kings, one of the largest and most notorious street gangs in America, became his refuge and his world, but its violence cost him friends, freedom, self-respect, and nearly his life. This is a raw and powerful odyssey through the ranks of the new mafia, where the only people more dangerous than rival gangs are members of your own gang, who in one breath will say they'll die for you and in the next will order your assassination.