My Bloody Life

Author: Reymundo Sanchez
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
ISBN: 1569762325
Release Date: 2007-04-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

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.

Once a King Always a King

Author: Reymundo Sanchez
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
ISBN: 9781569762356
Release Date: 2004-10-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

This riveting sequel to "My Bloody Life" traces Reymundo Sanchez's struggle to create a "normal" life outside the Latin Kings, one of the nation's most notorious street gangs, and to move beyond his past. Sanchez illustrates how the Latin King motto "once a king, always a king" rings true and details the difficulty and danger of leaving that life behind. Filled with heart-pounding scenes of his backslide into drugs, sex, and violence, Once a King, Always a King recounts how Sanchez wound up behind bars and provides an engrossing firsthand account of how the Latin Kings are run from inside the prison system. Harrowing testaments to Sanchez's determination to rebuild his life include his efforts to separate his family from gang life and his struggle to adapt to marriage and the corporate world. Despite temptations, nightmares, regressions into violence, and his own internal demons, Sanchez makes an uneasy peace with his new life. This raw, powerful, and brutally honest memoir traces the transformation of an accomplished gangbanger into a responsible citizen.

Lady Q

Author: Reymundo Sanchez
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
ISBN: 9781569762851
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Looks at the life of a member of Chicago's Puerto Rican gang the Latin Queens, the female counterpoint of the Latin Kings, and details the years of sexual abuse that began at the age of five and the consequences of breaking the gang's code of silence when she appeared on Oprah Winfrey's local talk show.

100 Common Misconceptions about My Bloody Life

Author: Luke Syers
Publisher: Lennex
ISBN: 5458796306
Release Date: 2013-03
Genre:

In this book, we have hand-picked the most sophisticated, unanticipated, absorbing (if not at times crackpot!), original and musing book reviews of "My Bloody Life: The Making of a Latin King." Don't say we didn't warn you: these reviews are known to shock with their unconventionality or intimacy. Some may be startled by their biting sincerity; others may be spellbound by their unbridled flights of fantasy. Don't buy this book if: 1. You don't have nerves of steel. 2. You expect to get pregnant in the next five minutes. 3. You've heard it all.

The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation

Author: David Brotherton
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231114184
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Law

A sociologist and a psychologist explore the cultural, social, political, and spiritual transformation of the Latin Kings gang, introducting the concept of "street organization" and the potential for political and social engagement in the community.

It Calls You Back

Author: Luis J. Rodriguez
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439100592
Release Date: 2011-10-04
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

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.

8 Ball Chicks

Author: Gini Sikes
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0307773833
Release Date: 2010-11-03
Genre: Social Science

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 the Trade Paperback edition.

Last Chance in Texas

Author: John Hubner
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1588361632
Release Date: 2008-04-29
Genre: Social Science

A powerful, bracing and deeply spiritual look at intensely, troubled youth, Last Chance in Texas gives a stirring account of the way one remarkable prison rehabilitates its inmates. While reporting on the juvenile court system, journalist John Hubner kept hearing about a facility in Texas that ran the most aggressive–and one of the most successful–treatment programs for violent young offenders in America. How was it possible, he wondered, that a state like Texas, famed for its hardcore attitude toward crime and punishment, could be leading the way in the rehabilitation of violent and troubled youth? Now Hubner shares the surprising answers he found over months of unprecedented access to the Giddings State School, home to “the worst of the worst”: four hundred teenage lawbreakers convicted of crimes ranging from aggravated assault to murder. Hubner follows two of these youths–a boy and a girl–through harrowing group therapy sessions in which they, along with their fellow inmates, recount their crimes and the abuse they suffered as children. The key moment comes when the young offenders reenact these soul-shattering moments with other group members in cathartic outpourings of suffering and anger that lead, incredibly, to genuine remorse and the beginnings of true empathy . . . the first steps on the long road to redemption. Cutting through the political platitudes surrounding the controversial issue of juvenile justice, Hubner lays bare the complex ties between abuse and violence. By turns wrenching and uplifting, Last Chance in Texas tells a profoundly moving story about the children who grow up to inflict on others the violence that they themselves have suffered. It is a story of horror and heartbreak, yet ultimately full of hope.

True Notebooks

Author: Mark Salzman
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780375727610
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

The author shares his experiences working with kids in Central Juvenile Hall, a jail for kids located near Los Angeles, assisting them with their writing.

Gang Leader for a Day

Author: Sudhir Venkatesh
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1440631891
Release Date: 2008-01-10
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A New York Times Bestseller Foreword by Stephen J. Dubner, coauthor of Freakonomics When first-year graduate student Sudhir Venkatesh walked into an abandoned building in one of Chicago’s most notorious housing projects, he hoped to find a few people willing to take a multiple-choice survey on urban poverty--and impress his professors with his boldness. He never imagined that as a result of this assignment he would befriend a gang leader named JT and spend the better part of a decade embedded inside the projects under JT’s protection. From a privileged position of unprecedented access, Venkatesh observed JT and the rest of his gang as they operated their crack-selling business, made peace with their neighbors, evaded the law, and rose up or fell within the ranks of the gang’s complex hierarchical structure. Examining the morally ambiguous, highly intricate, and often corrupt struggle to survive in an urban war zone, Gang Leader for a Day also tells the story of the complicated friendship that develops between Venkatesh and JT--two young and ambitious men a universe apart. "Riveting."--The New York Times "Compelling... dramatic... Venkatesh gives readers a window into a way of life that few Americans understand."--Newsweek "An eye-opening account into an underserved city within the city."--Chicago Tribune "The achievement of Gang Leader for a Day is to give the dry statistics a raw, beating heart."--The Boston Globe "A rich portrait of the urban poor, drawn not from statistics but from viivd tales of their lives and his, and how they intertwined."--The Economist "A sensative, sympathetic, unpatronizing portrayal of lives that are ususally ignored or lumped into ill-defined stereotype."--Finanical Times Sudhir Venkatesh’s latest book Floating City: A Rogue Sociologist Lost and Found in New York’s Underground Economy--a memoir of sociological investigation revealing the true face of America’s most diverse city--was published in September 2013 by Penguin Press From the Trade Paperback edition.

Life In Prison

Author: Stanley "Tookie" Williams
Publisher: Chronicle Books
ISBN: 1587170930
Release Date: 2001-02-01
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction

The author's account of his life in San Quentin State Prison in California where he has lived in a small cell on death row for sixteen years because of a murder conviction.

Inside the Crips

Author: Ann Pearlman
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781466860995
Release Date: 2013-12-24
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Inside the Crips is the memoir of the author Colton Simpson's life as a Crip--beginning at the tender age of ten in the mid-seventies--and his prison turnaround nearly twenty-five years later. Colton ("C-Loc") Simpson calls himself the only gang member ever allowed to quite the Crips--and one of the few to survive into his thirties. Simpson--son of a ballplayer for the California Angels and a mother who was relentlessly rough with her sons after their fathers left her--became a gang member at ten. Inside The Crips tells the remarkable--and at the same time, all too common--story of gang life in the 1980s in immediate and descriptive prose that makes this book a gripping true-life read. Inside The Crips covers the rush that comes from participating in gang violence and the years-long wars between the Bloods and Crips. Simpson's story also puts the reader in the middle of the struggle between the Crips and corrections officers in Calipatria prison. It covers gang life from the mid-seventies to the mid-nineties, and introduces characters it's impossible not to care about: Simpson's fellow gangbanger Smile; and Gina, the long-suffering friend and mother of two sons who married Simpson in prison.

Once a King Always a King

Author: Reymundo Sanchez
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
ISBN: 9781569762356
Release Date: 2004-10-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

This riveting sequel to "My Bloody Life" traces Reymundo Sanchez's struggle to create a "normal" life outside the Latin Kings, one of the nation's most notorious street gangs, and to move beyond his past. Sanchez illustrates how the Latin King motto "once a king, always a king" rings true and details the difficulty and danger of leaving that life behind. Filled with heart-pounding scenes of his backslide into drugs, sex, and violence, Once a King, Always a King recounts how Sanchez wound up behind bars and provides an engrossing firsthand account of how the Latin Kings are run from inside the prison system. Harrowing testaments to Sanchez's determination to rebuild his life include his efforts to separate his family from gang life and his struggle to adapt to marriage and the corporate world. Despite temptations, nightmares, regressions into violence, and his own internal demons, Sanchez makes an uneasy peace with his new life. This raw, powerful, and brutally honest memoir traces the transformation of an accomplished gangbanger into a responsible citizen.

Lords of Lawndale

Author: Michael Scott
Publisher:
ISBN: 1600473024
Release Date: 2009-04-01
Genre: True Crime

"When we both made it to the other side of Fullerton, the swarm of Gangsters were off-running for their lives, far out of our reach. I was pissed. Fullerton traffic had delayed me and it gave these guys time to get away clean. Regardless of the distance, I pulled the trigger anyway, and opened up with the shotgun..." Based on actual events, this soul-gripping tale is an account of survival in the urban jungle of Chicago, in the 1980s. While embarked on his own street-journey, Michael Scott enters a world in which a band of brothers are locked in a desperate engagement, an Alamo-like siege of their hood. Amidst turbulent conditions, the narrator gives us all a ticket to ride next to him on this roller coaster ride, with its twist and turns of horror and frustration, suspense and humor. Following in the tradition of profound gang tales such as "The Outsiders" and "West Side Story," this must-read book goes beneath the hardcore surface to show the struggle of the human spirit.

Painted Cities

Author: Alexai Galaviz-Budziszewski
Publisher: McSweeney's
ISBN: 9781940450384
Release Date: 2014-04-14
Genre: Fiction

To those outside it, Pilsen is a vast barrio on the south side of Chicago. To Alexai Galaviz-Budziszewski, it is a world of violence and decay and beauty, of nuance and pure chance. It is a place where the smell of cooking frijoles is washed away by that of dead fish in the river, where vendettas are a daily routine, and where a fourteen-year-old immigrant might hold the ability bring people back from the dead. Simultaneously tough and tender, these stories mark the debut of a writer poised to represent his city's literature for decades to come.