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G-Dog and the Homeboys: Father Greg Boyle and the Gangs of East Los Angeles Paperback – August 16, 2008

46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[Celeste Fremon] offers [Father] Boyle as an example of how approaching gang violence with an eye towards prevention and intervention can be much more effective than simply aiming for 'lock-'em-up and-throw-away-the-key' suppression. Throughout she includes the words of the gang members themselves as they reflect on their lives and what would aid them in improving their circumstances. In this new edition, she adds an afterword that follows up on the fates of a number of the individuals discussed in the main body of the text." - streetgangs.com"

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This is an updated edition of the story of the gang scene in East L.A. and Father Gregory Boyle's innovative ministry and economic development efforts in the area.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press; Revised & enlarged edition (August 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826344852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826344854
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John P. Fremon on January 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Between dodging bullets of homeboys and donning the babies of homegirls as their godmother, Celeste Fremon (Rosedog) has buried many children who grew up in a war zone where bloodshed and death are intermingled with their earliest memories.

Celeste's expertise in the areas of street gangs, gang violence and juvenile issues allowed her to take you deep in the lives of the homeboys of Boyle Heights in East LA (one of the toughest and most violent neighborhoods in Los Angeles).

Imagining triumphs and success seems impossible for most of the gang member she has chronicled from childhood into adulthood over a period of nearly fifteen years. But, some have shined, some have died, some have developed into responsible adults largely due to the work of Father Greg Boyle (G-Dog) who has dedicated his life, to rehabilitate these children.

The book recounts how Father Greg evolved from an inexperienced young priest to the director of Homeboy Industries, the country's largest gang intervention program and most successful model for gang rehabilitation.

The new chapters bring you up to date not only with "G-Dog" and his labor of love, but with many of the young gang members who are now young men and women.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By zombieH on December 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
In the early 1990's, Celeste Fremon (frequent contributor to the LA Weekly) shadowed Father Greg Boyle S.J. as he tirelessly worked to improve (read: SAVE) the lives of disinfranchased gang members from the Pico/Aliso "hood" in East Los Angeles. Her resulting, richly descriptive narrative covers the gauntlet of tragedies and triumphs pervading life in a war zone. The fact that this particular war zone is but a handful of miles from downtown Beverly Hills, one of the richest cities in America, is profound.

In short, this is an important and unforgettable book that will richly supplement any college class focused on issues of social justice. Hopefully, this reprint (and new title...)will afford Fremon's work the wider attention, and study, it deserves.

Includes new chapters which bring readers up to date not ony with "G-Dog" and his work, but with many of the young men and women who populate the original narrative. -ZH
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By stephanie marston on January 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
I love this book. G- Dog And The Homeboys is completely inspiring. The writing is compelling and Celeste Fremon is the consummate storyteller. I never thought that I would find myself experiencing the level of compassion I felt for these so called gang members. Ms. Fremon humanizes the characters like no one else. It is also rare that we meet someone such as Father Greg Boyle who has made these young men and women his adopted family and has created the nations largest gang intervention program helping these kids to turn their lives around. If you need some inspiration and a dose of humanity G-Dog And The Homeboys is it!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lynn on January 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Celeste Fremon has written an unforgetable first hand account of the journey of the remarkable Greg Boyle and his homeboys--and girls. After years of covering these people and their stories, no reporter knows this scene from the inside out quite like Fremon. It is a deeply moving, maddening and ultimately compassionate account of one man who insists that every life is worth saving. And while you're at it, check out the Homeboy Industries website.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By B. Detanna on February 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
A wonderful read that can be shared with reluctant readers to bring them face to face with their place in modern literature. A book that should be shared with more teenagers. A look at gang life/ prisons in our urban world through the eyes of someone on a shared journey. I shared this book and another series that Celeste wrote in LA Weekly (2005) with my students as a combination class: experience of life literature and morality. Father Boyle is a master at understanding humanity and our call to larger social responsibility. We are not permitted to dismiss the world around us after reading this book that tugs at the corners of your heart. Greg gives hope where it is needed the most - to everyone. If the opportunity to hear Father Greg Boyle speak presents itself, do yourself a favor and go.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Liz on May 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fremon delivers an inside look at the life of Father Greg Boyle and the East LA gang members he serves. Though the story is going on 20 years old at this point, it still rings true to what I see as a teacher in inner-city Los Angeles. It was a gripping read and well worth my time.

That being said, the Kindle edition needs some serious copyediting. I found numerous spelling errors, some of which made it difficult to understand what Fremon meant. It seems like it was rushed into "print." There's even a written placeholder in the author's bio at the end that says "Insert author's picture here." Keep it classy, Amazon.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By a reader on July 25, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm on my second read-through of this book. It completely readjusted my perspective on what the definition of true compassion is.

This is an extraordinary and well-written story, told without sentiment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Movie Nut on November 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had heard about this book from a friend who liked it, but I was I'll-prepared for the deeply moving experience that it brought. Father Greg Boyle is a Catholic priest who really cares, not about dry theology but about the human lives entrusted to him. Doctors, nurses, police, firefighters, teachers, and many more professionals give all the have to protect our lives and health, but Fr Boyle and his co-workers go deeper, entering fully into the lives of the poor and outcast people of the barrio to offer hope and practical help just as Jesus would have done (and did). Reading these stories of God's work here on earth is truly mind- and life-changing.
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