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Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them Paperback – August 15, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (August 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385499329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385499323
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Striking a sober but ultimately hopeful note, psychologist and Cornell University professor Garbarino (Raising Children in a Socially Toxic Environment) lends his voice to the growing chorus of concern about the difficulties boys face in their journey to manhood. We live in dangerous times, he asserts, citing the ready availability of guns (nearly half of all American households contain one) and the escalating rate of youth homicide (which increased 168% in the past decade alone). Noting that the highly publicized killings by children of the 19971998 school year have served as a kind of wake-up call, Garbarino devotes the first part of his book to examining the roots of violence among boys. He traces it to class and race issues, as well as risk factors such as child neglect, parental abandonment, physical and emotional abuse, spiritual emptiness and a culture that legitimizes violence in movies, television and video games. In the second half, he outlines how involved adults might prevent the downward spiral by identifying and treating patterns of aggression early in a boys life, and how providing the proper spiritual, psychological and social anchors can keep a troubled boy from drifting into violence. Garbarino effectively illustrates his points with stories of his own work with violent boys. Solidly researched and written, this book is of equal value to parents, educators, family therapists and other professionals. It could easily serve as a blueprint for preventing more tragedies like the ones in Jonesboro, Ark., and Springfield, Ore. 20-city TV and radio satellite tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The school murder sprees of 1997-98 provide a backdrop for this inquiry into an "epidemic" of youthful male violence that has been worsening over the past 25 years. The bulk of the book is devoted to an analysis of the roots and meaning of lethal violence as revealed through interviews with perpetrators. Garbarino (human development, Cornell Univ.; Raising Children in a Socially Toxic Environment, Jossey-Bass, 1995) discusses these narratives in the context of statistical and psychological/ psychiatric research. Causative factors like abuse, gangs and codes of honor, substance abuse, neurological deficits, and school problems are considered from a social ecology perspective grounded in the work of Garbarino's mentor, Urie Bronfenbrenner. The book concludes with a catalog of strategies to combat boyhood violence. Solutions call for spiritual literacy as well as government action and research-based programs. Readable yet well documented and brimming with ideas, this book is recommended for larger public libraries and public policy collections.AAntoinette Brinkman, Southwest Indiana Mental Health Ctr. Lib., Evansville
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

So Far I am enjoying the book.
andrea Rutland
It is rare to find a world-class researcher that can write with clarity and passion.
andrew weaver
I recommend this book to anyone living in a violent society.
Concerned Parent

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 72 people found the following review helpful By N.N. on September 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
I worked as a documentary producer for some time in the 90's and came to have some first-hand knowledge of one of the cases James Garbarino discusses in this book, that of Shareef Cousin, a New Orleans teen who was once the youngest person ever to be on death row in the US.

Garbarino presents Cousin as a prime example of how a child can fall into a life of violence and murder for lack of a father figure. Problem: Shareef Cousin was not violent and did not murder anyone. His case is one of the most famous US cases of a totally innocent person, in this case a child, landing up on death row. Cousin was actually on several home videotapes taken at the time of the crime playing in a basketball game at a distant community center. Authorities were well aware of this evidence at the time of his trial but suppressed the information, and, in the meantime, coerced Cousin into confessing to a robbery he also couldn't have committed in order to keep him in prison after he was taken off death row. (He's out now, all charges dropped and convictions overturned, and he's a fine, upstanding citizen.). His story is not one of a fatherless boy falling into a life of crime, but of racism and corruption in the New Orleans DA'S office.

If you use the Amazon search feature to view Garbarino's references to Cousin's case in this book, you'll see he gives the impression he interviewed Cousin at length to get all sorts of insight into how his childhood circumstances made him a murderer. He even intimates that Shareef more or less admitted guilt. This is sheer rubbish. From day one, Cousin, his wonderfully supportive family, and numerous witnesses proclaimed his innocence to anyone and everyone who would listen.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Mary Ellen Johnson jacob@pcisys.net on September 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I've read a lot of books about lost boys, but I've seldom been as impressed as I was by this one. Unlike other experts, this author never gives up on a boy--even if he's sitting on death row, as 300 American juveniles are. The author speaks of the divine spark in each of us--even murderers. He also addresses the root causes of violence and how to save our children. Prevention is the answer, of course,along with compassion and believing in the inherent goodness of all human beings. In a society that equates punishment with justice and believes in retribution rather than resurrection, LOST BOYS offers spiritual and practical hope for all.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David W. Aiken, MSW (dwaiken@usa.net) on May 31, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book provides in its few, short pages, a complete and concise, yet very readable, analysis of the causes of youthful violence and tells what can be done - indeed, what must be done, from earliest childhood on - to prevent it. This book should be required reading by all teachers, court and law enforcement officers, physicians, social workers - by everyone who works with children and adolescents of any age, in any capacity, as well as by all those who make policy and pass legislation at any level of federal, state or local government.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
James Garbarino's book highlights the confusion that we instill in children when we make them responsible for their actions and don't accept our responsibility for their well being. As a former junior high school principal, I wish every legislator would read this book before they pass more laws moving juvenile offenders into our cruel and ineffective adult correctional system.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By jodistr@aol.com on June 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
For those who were surprised by the Littleton killings or any of the others...this book is for you. In 25 years of Social Work practice and education I have never seen a kinder or more cogent discussion of the plight of males in our soceity. Dr. Garbarino's perspective on our social responsibilities is both sobering and moral. Yes, there are solutions to our toxicity, however, to date, this has not been a political, moral, economic or social priority. We are challenged to acknowledge the existance and pervasiveness of this environment and suffer the inconveniences of improving it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want to see a clear examination of the problems that lead to the type of terrible violence we saw this week in Littleton, Colorado browse a copy of LOST BOYS: Why our sons run violent and how we can save them. By James Garbarino, Ph.D. Free Press; ISBN: 0684859084
I saw this this morning and thought that Professor Garbarino talks convincingly about the effects of isolation and marginalization of kids (boys especially); the easy availability of firearms; and the effects that point and shoot videogames and violent media have in removing the normal human reluctance that people have innately that makes most of us reluctant to point a weapon at another person to shoot to kill.
Garbarino offers some hope and some concrete ideas about how we can contribute, individually and as a community, to stemming this increasingly common tragedy.
If you have an interest in making your community safer from the kind of violence that ambushed Littleton, Colorado; Jonesboro, Arkansas and all too many other American communities I'd recommend reading this book.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By andrew weaver on July 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
It is rare to find a world-class researcher that can write with clarity and passion. Dr. Garbarino is such a scholar. I am a Protestant minister and psychologist and his treatment of the question of spirituality in troubled boys is at the heart of the issue. Recommended to those in the religious community.
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