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Street Gangs

Books on the Gangs and Gang Warfare of America and Europe
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Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A.
by Luis J. Rodriguez
By age twelve, Luis Rodriguez was a veteran of East L.A. gang warfare. Lured by a seemingly invincible gang culture, he witnessed countless shootings, beatings, and arrests, then watched with increasing fear as drugs, murder, suicide, and senseless acts of street crime 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 Chicano 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. 
Paperback: 260 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.67 x 8.36 x 5.50
Touchstone Books; ISBN: 0671882317; Reprint edition (February )

Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos: A Social History of the Tattoo With Gangs, Sailors and Street-Corner Punks, 1950-1965
by Samuel M. Steward, Phil Andros

Barrio Gangs: Street Life and Identity in Southern California
by James Diego Vigil
(Paperback - October 1988)

Crews: Gang Members Talk to Maria Hinojosa
by Maria Hinojosa
Paperback from Harcourt Paperbacks


Dead End Kids: Gang Girls and the Boys They Know
Dead End Kids: Gang Girls and the Boys They Know
by Mark S. Fleisher
Paperback from University of Wisconsin Press
Do or Die
Do or Die
by Leon Bing
Paperback: 304 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.75 x 8.00 x 5.34
Harper Perennial; ISBN: 0060922915; Reprint edition (May 1992)
Durango Street
by Frank Bonham
East Side Stories: Gang Life in East LA
East Side Stories: Gang Life in East LA
by Joseph Rodriguez, Ruben Martinez, Luis J. Rodriguez
We've heard about drive-by shootings and territorial battles in the news. "East Side Stories" brings the code, the lives, the words, and the hope of actual gang members to light in this stunning collection of essays, photographs, and an interview of ex-gang member Luis Rodriguez, now the author of five books and the recipient of several major awards. The labyrinthine rules and codes of gang life are examined and explained, while intimate photographs of "gang bangers" in their homes and with their families put a human face on what is, for many of us, just another story in the afternoon newspaper. 

Luis Rodriguez explains in his interview that the demonization and false glorification of gang life has done much disservice to the termination of gang activity, activity which he defines as "90% boredom." What's the key to reduction of gang violence and improvement of inner-city lives, to the dissolution of prisons as a right of passage? Part of the solution lies in providing better education by informed and supportive teachers who are able to tap into the overlooked creativity in inner-city communities. And a great part lies in nationally understanding and supporting communities bound by poverty, and encouraging people to work together to help people work for themselves.
Paperback from powerHouse Books

8 Ball Chicks: A Year in the Violent World of Girl Gangsters
by Gini Sikes
"TJ had never killed anyone before, but then who knew for sure? Sticking a pump shotgun out of a moving car and blasting into a crowd--you could never really tell which bodies fell because of you, whose life you were accountable for..." The cover may be gaudy, but this account of girl gangbangers is down-to-earth and refreshingly free of melodrama. In order to write 8 Ball Chicks journalist Gini Sikes spent a year hanging out with girl gangs in Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and San Antonio. As Salon writes, "Sikes's analysis is sparse and not particularly illuminating ('Without an effective national policy for youth, kids fell through the cracks in droves'), but she's got a good ear and the sense to step back and let her subjects seize the microphone most of the time."
Paperback: 276 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.69 x 8.02 x 5.20
Doubleday; ISBN: 0385474326;

Gang Intelligence Manual : Identifying And Understanding Modern-Day Violent Gangs In The United States
by Bill Valentine
Book Description:
Marauding gangs have become a fact of life in the U.S., but where did these violent groups come from, and why are they so appealing to so many youths today? This comprehensive guide provides answers to these questions and more. It will open your eyes to a world few of us know, but most of us fear. 
Paperback from Paladin Press

Gangs And Their Tattoos : Identifying Gangbangers on the Street and in Prison
by Bill Valentine (Author), Robert Schober (Illustrator)
In this book, Bill Valentine, author of Gang Intelligence Manual, shares the latest intelligence on the predominant street and prison gangs and other disruptive groups, with particular emphasis on their identifying tattoos. Supplementing the text are scores of detailed illustrations by Correctional Officer Robert Schober that replicate some of the most common tattoos worn by members of each of the groups discussed. This groundbreaking work makes a substantial amount of previously classified information available to the general public for the first time. In addition to presenting the latest intel on white, black, Hispanic and Asian gangs, it also includes new information on groups such as the White Afrikaner Resistance Movement and the Russian Mafia, which add to the mounting challenge faced by those laboring to hold the line against the menace posed by gangs, hate groups and organized crime. The Publisher.
Paperback: 176 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.44 x 11.00 x 8.14
Paladin Press; ISBN: 1581600992; (November )

Gangbangers : Understanding The Deadly Minds Of America's Street Gangs
by Loren W. Christensen
Paperback from Paladin Press

Gangbusters: How a Street-Tough, Elite Homicide Unit Took Down New York's Most Dangerous Gang
by Michael Stone

Gangs: Stories of Life and Death from the Streets (Adrenaline Series)
by Sean Donahue, Clint Willis
Paperback from Thunder's Mouth Press

The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld
by Herbert Asbury, Jorge Luis Borges (Foreword)
Published to coincide with the release of Martin Scorsese's film, Gangs of New York, starring Leonard DiCaprio, The Gangs of New York has long been hand-passed among its cult readership. It is a tour through a now unrecognizable city of abysmal poverty and habitual violence cobbled, as Luc Sante has written, "from legend, memory, police records, the self-aggrandizements of aging crooks, popular journalism, and solid historical research." Asbury presents the definitive work on this subject, an illumination of the gangs of old New York that ultimately gave rise to the modern Mafia and its depiction in films like The Godfather. The Publisher.

Hell's Angels : A Strange and Terrible Saga
by Hunter S. Thompson 
Listed under Motorcycle Outlaws

Islands in the Street: Gangs and American Urban Society
by Martin Sanchez Jankowski
Paperback from University of California Press

The Killing of Tupac Shakur
by Cathy Scott
Listed under Tupac Shakur

Life in the Gang : Family, Friends, and Violence
by Scott H. Decker, Barrik van Winkle, Steve Decker, Barrik Van Winkle
Paperback from Cambridge University Press


Monster : Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member
Monster : Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member
by Sanyika Shakur, Monster Kody Scott
After pumping eight blasts from a sawed-off shotgun at a group of rival gang members, eleven-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, Scott channeled his aggression and drive into educating himself. 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. 
Paperback: 383 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.07 x 7.78 x 5.02
Addison-Wesley Publishing; ISBN: 0140232257; 1 edition (January 1, )
My Bloody Life: The Making of a Latin King
by Reymundo Sanchez 
In My Bloody Life, Reymundo Sanchez tells a chillingly sad tale, from his birth in the back of a pickup truck in Puerto Rico to the day he quit the Latin Kings gang, 21 years later. From the first page, his narrative is unpretentious, disarmingly honest, and horrifyingly riveting. His early years were so full of pain and abuse that by the time he opts, at age 11, to hang out with the local gang, the Latin Kings, it seems a perfectly logical choice. In his shoes, any one of us--smacked nightly by a mother and beaten ragged whenever the stepfather got the chance--would likely have chosen the same path. The gang was the family that accepted him as well as the peer group that offered girls who didn't say "no." Any violence that went with the territory couldn't match the atmosphere of brutality that permeated his own home. Sanchez was a Latin King for six years and participated in innumerable bloody gang battles--years rife with sex, drugs, booze, and acts of gang revenge. He finally got up his pluck to leave (and the only way was to be "violated" out through a gang beating), but admits in his conclusion that life since then has, in some ways, been even harder. He's had to quit drugs, lose the only community he's known, support himself, and deal with the nightmares of all the horrors he's seen and done. Though Sanchez still hasn't accomplished his dream of completing college, he has managed to leave the Kings, leave Chicago, leave behind his mother's legacy of violence, and write an impressive first book. --Stephanie Gold -
Hardcover: 334 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.10 x 9.29 x 6.35
Chicago Review Pr; ISBN: 1556524013;

Panic: The Social Construction of the Street Gang Problem
by Richard C. McCorkle, et al

Peace in the Streets: Breaking the Cycle of Gang Violence
by Arturo Hernandez, Arturo Hernandez
Paperback from Child Welfare League of America


A Rainbow of Gangs : Street Cultures in the Mega-City
A Rainbow of Gangs : Street Cultures in the Mega-City
by Diego Vigil
Paperback from Univ of Texas Press
Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia
by Danzig Baldayev, Sergey Vasiliev, Damon Murray
Listed under Russian Mafia

Street Corner Society: The Social Structure of an Italian Slum
by William Foote Whyte
Paperback from University of Chicago Press

Street Kingdom: Five Years Inside the Franklin Avenue Posse
by Douglas Century

Street Gang Awareness: A Resource Guide for Parents and Professionals
by Steven L. Sachs
Paperback from Fairview Pr

Street Gangs: Gaining Turf, Losing Ground (Icarus World Issues Series)
by Roager Rosen, Patra McSharry (Editor)
(Library Binding - October 1991)

Street Gangs : The Law Enforcement Guide To Today's Urban Violence

Wallbangin': Graffiti and Gangs in L.A
Wallbangin': Graffiti and Gangs in L.A
by Susan A. Phillips
Paperback from University of Chicago Press (Trd)
The Westies
by T. J. English
Book Description: Even among the Mob, the Westies were feared. Out of a partnership between two sadistic thugs, James Coonan and Mickey Featherstone, the gang rose out of the inferno of Hell's Kitchen, a decaying tenderloin slice of New York City's West Side. They became the most notorious gang in the history of organized crime, excelling in extortion, numbers running, loansharking, and drug peddling. Upping the ante on depravity, their specialty was execution by dismemberment. Though never numbering more than a dozen members, their reign lasted for almost twenty years-until their own violent natures got the best of them, precipitating a downfall that would become as infamous as their notorious ascension into the annals of crime.
Mass Market Paperback from St. Martin's Press
Skinhead Street Gangs
by Loren W. Christensen (Author)
Book Description: This is a crash course in racist violence by Loren Christensen, a nationally recognized expert on skinhead gangs and police officer in Portland, Oregon, a city once dubbed the "Skinhead Capital of the U.S." This cop's view of skinheads explains who they are, why they're violent, who their targets are, how they operate, what weapons they favor and what danger they pose to society and to police.
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