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.
Looking for an escape from childhood abuse, Reymundo Sanchez rejected schoolnd sport in favour of drugs, alcohol and sex. Aged just 13, his mother andtepfather returned to their native Puerto Rico, leaving him to fend forimself - he really was a lost boy. He found himself by taking refuge withhe Chicago Latin Kings, one of the most notorious street gangs in the USA.e was initiated into the gang by performing his first gun hit and soonarned a reputation for crazy violence - 'Lil Loco' was just 14 years old.he gang became his world but its inherent violence cost him friends, freedom,is self-respect and very nearly his life. This raw and powerful odysseyhrough the ranks of the new mafia graphically describes a way of life leady a particular group of American youths. A group where the only people moreangerous than rival gangs are members of your own, who in one breath willay they'll die for you and in the next will order your demise. "This was howll Latino youths seemed to classify each other - gang member first, humaneing second. Ironically, Latinos complain that police treat all youths as
For use in schools and libraries only. A former member of the Latin King gang describes his search as a young Latino for a place to call home, discussing his abusive childhood; his escape to drugs, alcohol, sex, and the streets of Chicago; and his entry into one of the largest street gangs in America.
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.
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.
Author: David Brotherton
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2004
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.
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.
Author: Luis J. Rodriguez
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-07-03
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Shares the author's story of his brushes with the law and addictions to heroin and alcohol, tracing his complicated journey toward a recovery marked by a run for political office and his rise to an internationally respected gang interventionist.
Author: DaShaun "Jiwe" Morris
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2009-01-27
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
By turns harrowing, moving, and ultimately redemptive, this is a war story -- a war that rages out of control on the streets of the United States, claiming the lives of our loved ones and neighbors. In this memoir, complete with child soldiers, unspeakable violence, and eventual salvation, we witness the journey of an East Coast member of the notorious Bloods gang coming to terms with the lost boy he was and the transformation into the man he wants to become. Unlike the child warriors of Mozambique and Sierra Leone, gang members and the wars they wage are the United States' homegrown nightmare. Lacking protection, support, or any alternatives, Dashaun Morris is forced into battle for the first time at age eleven, in the streets of Phoenix, when a friend's older brothers put him in a car filled with 40s and weed smoke, put a gun in his hands, then make him point it at the men on the corner and squeeze the trigger. The targets are Crips, of course, and, as Morris writes, "In the darkness of the streets, my childhood is murdered.... I am reborn -- a gangster." In this haunting, violent memoir, Morris takes us through an American childhood turned grotesquely inside out. In the fourth grade, he loses his first friend in a drive-by shooting. By high school he is the man, a champion on the football field by day and a reputable banger on his 'hood turf by night. Living the life of a gang banger, Morris does it all -- drug dealing, jacking, and continuing the aimless war with rival gang members -- almost opening fire one night on a close friend, a cheerleader, as she hangs out with young men he mistakes for Crips. He eventually makes it to college on a football scholarship, but on the verge of being drafted by the NFL, Morris can't escape his gang-banging mentality and gets caught up in crimes that snatch away all future hopes. Sitting in a prison cell, he anticipates the birth of his first child while counting the friends he's buried. War of the Bloods in My Veins is part of Morris's redemption, a cry to his brothers that gang life is mental illness. It is a rare and brutally honest look into the relentless storm of abandonment, violence, crime, death, and the endless rush toward the complete and utter self-annihilation that plagues the lives of the young "soldiers" who die every day in our streets.
John Wilson came to Canada from Scotland in 1912, leaving his wife and family with the promise to return in a year. In 1914 he joined the Mounties, and while stationed in Saskatchewan village, he caught TB and fell hopelessly in love with the young woman who took care of him. He would do anything for her, anything at all. Winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Non-Fiction, The Secret Lives of Sgt. John Wilson is played out against a backdrop of catastrophic events—World War I, economic depression, the TB and Spanish Flu epidemics. It is a riveting story of passion, murder and retribution
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.
Author: Julia Reynolds
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Release Date: 2014-09-01
Genre: True Crime
The city of Salinas, California, is the birthplace of John Steinbeck and the setting for his epic masterpiece, East of Eden, but it is also the home of Nuestra Familia, one of the most violent gangs in America. Born in the prisons of California in the late 1960s, Nuestra Familia expanded to control drug trafficking and extortion operations throughout the northern half of the state, and left a trail of bodies in its wake. Prize-winning journalist and Nieman Fellow Julia Reynolds tells the gang's story from the inside out, following young men and women as they search for a new kind of family, quests that usually lead to murder and betrayal. Blood in the Fields also documents the history of Operation Black Widow, the FBI's questionable decade-long effort to dismantle the Nuestra Familia, along with its compromised informants and the turf wars it created with local law enforcement agencies. Written as narrative nonfiction, journalist Reynolds used her unprecedented access to gang members, both in and out of prison, as well as undercover wire taps, depositions, and court documents to weave a gripping, comprehensive history of this brutal criminal organization and the lives it destroyed. Julia Reynolds coproduced and wrote the PBS documentary Nuestra Familia, Our Family, and reported on the northern California gang for more than a decade. She currently works as a staff writer at the Monterey County Herald, and has reported for National Public Radio, the Discovery Channel, The Nation, Mother Jones, the San Francisco Chronicle, and more.
Author: James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
Release Date: 2012-11-20
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Fifteen-year-old Ben Buck and his family spent four years clearing the wilderness to build a new home in Pennsylvania. They fought the Indians and the British, and made sacrifices most people wouldn't have been strong enough to make. All so they could be independent and free. Now someone's trying to take everything away from them...their land, their home, even Ben's best friend, Joe. But the Bucks won't give up without a fight, and Ben knows his family will have to win a war to stay free. But what he doesn't know is that wars sometimes last a very long time. And even if you win in the end, you can lose almost everything along the way.
Author: Michael Scott
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.