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Gangs: A Groundwork Guide (Groundwork Guides) Hardcover – March 29, 2011

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Product Details

  • Series: Groundwork Guides
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0888999798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0888999795
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,322,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


A Booklist Editors' Choice - Book for Youth, 2012

"With well-documented references, a sharp wit, and a passionate commitment … this will grab teens, and adults, too, with its compelling arguments about why kids join gangs and what happens when greed, poverty, and injustice intersect." — Booklist, starred review

"…an accessible, readable, and fascinating book." — CM Magazine

" … informative and fast-paced …" —Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

"The authors [of the Groundwork Guides] express strong viewpoints that are sure to jolt readers into ready agreement or opposition."
School Library Journal
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Richard Swift is an internationally regarded journalist and former editor of New Internationalist magazine. He has done stories from many parts of the world on issues as varied as famine and the plight of farmers, slums, the prison system and struggles for national liberation. Swift is author of The No-Nonsense Guide to Democracy and Trigger Issues: Mosquito, and editor of Ties That Bind: Canada and the Third World. He has also worked as a radio journalist. He lives in Toronto.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Richard Swift was co-editor for the New Internationalist magazine from 1984 to 2007 and is based in Toronto. He has written and broadcast on questions of ecology and democracy for many years. In 2011 he won the Daniel Singer Millennium Prize for an original essay which helps further socialist ideas.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Yana V. Rodgers on March 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Gang membership has risen sharply in recent years across cities in industrialized countries and developing regions. A combination of various push and pull factors have led young people, especially boys and young men, to increasingly turn toward gang life as a source of social support, identity, and income. Among the push factors, poverty and the lack of economic opportunities serve as strong determinants of the decision to join a gang, as do problems associated with racism, a dysfunctional and violent family life, alienation from schools, and gaps in the social safety net. Among the pull factors, protection from street violence is often the main attraction of joining a gang, as is the chance to earn money (often through the sale of drugs), bond with other gang members, and use the band's reputation to establish identity.

This informative and fast-paced book shines the spotlight on the growth of gangs globally in recent years and provides more details on the reasons for this growth, links with the shadow economy (both legal and illegal), and problems with zero-tolerance immigration and drug offense policies. Carefully researched and clearly written, the book should appeal to young adult readers seeking an objective and readable overview of the myriad of issues associated with gang membership and street violence.
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