New Stuff Tuesday – September 29

A World of Gangs

A World of Gangs:
Armed Young Men and Gangsta Culture
By John Hagedorn
HV6437 .H34 2008
New Book Island, 2nd floor

As I was catching up on all of the day’s important news through my Facebook news feeds, a few of my friends from the other side of the border posted links or referred to Derrion Albert, the sixteen year-old teen that was beaten to death on the south side of Chicago in a street melee (heads-up: if you don’t do violence, don’t watch the video). All of this was on my mind when searching for a book to feature today, and to say that this book practically jumped off of the shelf at me would be a major understatement.

Hagedorn, criminal justice professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago, delves into the urban center’s overlooked neighborhoods to research the groups of youth that have banded together to survive and/or thrive in the harsh city environment. The author looks at gangs all over the world and the reasons for the existence, how the United States isn’t the only hot bed for gang-related activity and why these violent groups will be around for a lot longer. He also provides an inside view to gang life on three continents, from Chicago to Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town, comparing and contrasting their histories. The book serves as an excellent resource and starting point when investigating urban life and its challenges.

About kyle

I'm the library guy. No, seriously, I'm the only male reference & instruction librarian. I also have the pleasure of serving several campus committees, the Academic Staff Assembly and the Chancellor's Task Force on LGBT Issues, among others.
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1 Response to New Stuff Tuesday – September 29

  1. Rap Man says:

    Pittsburgh’s G-20 story: Take an expressway from town and disappear into desolate ‘hoods and encounter the civilization of menace. Pittsburgh, a dual city! The glass wonder of PPG Place and/or the G-20 Summit is a faded memory. Here in the ‘hood lives lie abandoned as far as the eye can see.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEukcWW5dM0

    That is: For the most part, African-American Pittsburgh seems to be invisible, not only to the public relations hucksters who tout Pittsburgh’s successes, but we are equally invisible to the protesters.

    Certainly, black Pittsburgh is as proud as anybody in that the black President we worked so hard to elect has selected Pittsburgh as the host of the G-20 Summit. We even enjoy the re-invention of Pittsburgh from a dirty, smoky steel-churning history to the bright, clean, green financial success that the business leaders and politicians boast about so loudly. Nobody is more proud of the Super Bowl winning African-American coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Tomlin. But none of that feel-good stuff erases the pain of the stubbornly high unemployment among African American young adults and the staggering dropout rate for young black males from the public school system.

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