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Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America Paperback – January 31, 1995

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (January 31, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679740708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679740704
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

McCall's autobiography?a seven-week PW bestseller?tracks his trajectory from the streets of Portsmouth, Va., to prison, rehabilitation and a job at the Washington Post; features a new introduction by the author.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-An autobiography that captures the pain, anger, and fierce determination of a black journalist writing today for the Washington Post. McCall's open and honest description of his life as a boy in a black neighborhood in Portsmouth, VA, his participation in violent criminal acts, and his eventual imprisonment for armed robbery seem somehow to be an expression of the rage of so many young people in America's urban areas. While imprisoned, he worked as inmate librarian and was so moved by Richard Wright's books that he became fascinated by the power of words and decided to become a writer. Though he's made a successful career against great odds, he makes it plain that he doesn't feel completely at ease with his peers in the establishment or those on the streets. His difficult story is told in such an immediate and compelling fashion that young people will be caught up in this strong narrative and gain real insight into McCall's growth and change and, thus, contemporary urban issues.
Patricia Noonan, Prince William Public Library, Manassas, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

A must read for any conscious black male in America.
I highly recommend that this book become required reading for all high school students.
MAKES ME WANNA HOLLER stayed with me longer than any other book I've ever read.
Mary Allen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 116 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
I read this book some years ago and was more impressed then than now. Unlike most authors, Mc Call actually admits that he was a an active participant in a gang rape. To actually have such a violent and humiliating crime published in one's own autobiography, the author would have to be very honest, insane or a liar.
As hideous as some parts of this book, I still gave this book to my nieces, daughters and other young Black impressionable females who seem to mindlessly believe anything a Black man tells them. Some months after my adolescent niece read McCall's works, she confessed that she completely broke ties with a young man she had been dating because he showed a lot of Mc Call's tendencies. Some years later, this same young man has impregnated several different women, 3 of which gave birth to his children in the same week (while he was unemployed). Today, he is doing a life sentence in prison for violent crimes.
As disturbing as Mc Call's work is, I have used it for good. Every mother should know where her son is at night. Also, blaming white people for your problems is no reason for McCall commiting the same sins (color casting, rape and robbery).
Finally, if Mc Call committed all the crimes he claims, he should now publish a NEW novel covering his efforts at some form of victim restitution to the individuals, businesses and others he has violated in his past. Well, how about it, Mr McCall?
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115 of 140 people found the following review helpful By Jason on November 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
When Mr. McCall finished his book by saying, "It makes me wanna holler and throw up my hands", he almost described my reaction perfectly. Almost. Actually, it makes me wanna holler and throw up.
I forced myself to finish this book despite wanting to throw it aside in disgust many times. Only Mr. McCall's writing skills and my desire to "hear him out" got me to the end of his screed. Why he's garnered so many rave reviews on this site, however, is beyond me and shows what a double standard exists in this country with respect to racial attitudes (and who's allowed to hate and who isn't). I suppose it's because so many are thrilled to have a raw, honest look inside the author's head in order to see what makes a black man tick. The hatred that he spews toward all whites and this country is sickening and hypocritical, though, and will leave a bad taste in your mouth long after you put the book down. (I wonder if a book by David Duke blaming all of society's ills on the black man would be received so well. Yeah, right.)
Mr. McCall wants to be treated a certain way by whites and yet makes no attempt to hide his own loathing of people who are different than him, i.e. "crackers". By his own admission, he found that he came to like some of the folks he worked with once he got past his own prejudice. (Thanks Danny.) At the end of the day, it's really got nothing to do with skin color. If Mr. McCall ever gets a chance to travel to his "homeland", he'll discover places in Africa where slavery still exists but it's black men enslaving other black men. He can then visit Rwanda to see where genocidal acts have been committed by the Tutsis and Hutus against each other. And when he gets back to the States he is welcome to come out to my city where the Crips and the Bloods try to kill each other.
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66 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Ajax the Great on March 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Here is the premise of the book, in a nutshell (words mine): "Hi, I'm Nathan McCall. I grew up in the ghetto, man. I was a thug, yo. White boys should know better than to ride their bikes through MY turf! I was real gangsta back in the day. Me and my buddies gang-raped a 13-year-girl a while back. I got away with it but served three years in prison for robbery. Damn the system! I impregnated several women and ditched them, 'cuz I'm a playa like that. All this happened because I got a raw deal out of life, and hated myself. And all that is whitey's fault!" Need I say more? Makes ME wanna holler indeed!

He does make some valid points about the very real problems facing the black community, and how life in the ghetto really is tough, but apparently fails to realize that his racist, misogynistic, cowardly, callous, and coldly unrepentant attitude is part of the problem, not the solution. He hurts his cause far more than he helps it. The death of personal responsibility is one of the biggest problems in this country, affecting every race, and this rag just fans the flames. Worse than even the worst "gangsta" rap song. He shows absolutely zero remorse or even sympathy for his rape victim. And he expects sympathy for a parasite like himself? Gimme a break. This book was apparently intended to show what is wrong with America. How ironic that it does exactly that, but not in a way the author would find flattering.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Firestarter on January 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I read this book years ago as part of a book club. It made me sick then and it still makes me sick today.

This author, like Eldridge Cleaver before him, is a sick rapist of black women and girls. He and his friends used to run trains (forced group rape) on poor unsuspecting black girls in their community.

This is how sick the author is: He and his friends were going to run a train on a girl that was pregnant with his child. His reasoning: If she were sexually involved with other men (whether consensual or not) he thought he could deny the child belonged to him. He was leading the way (his friends were following in another car), but the girl, suspecting that something was up, JUMPED OUT OF THE MOVING CAR before anything could happen. Sickening!

He left behind a number of fatherless children. He stole and robbed before ending up in prison. He was emotionally disconnected from the child he did claim, who he pretty much abandoned for some time. He did drugs. He sold drugs. He shot a man. He did everything in his power to destroy himself and his community. The only thing this author did that separated him from a number of his friends is he completed high school.

He got out of prison and was given a full year scholarship to a local state college...just sickening. Our society is backwards. HIS VICTIMS SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED A SCHOLARSHIP TO SCHOOL OR AT LEAST GIVEN THE SATISFACTION OF KNOWING THEIR RAPIST GOT HIS. In fact, he ran across one of his victims while attending school and I can only imagine how the poor girl must have felt when she saw her rapist.

Somehow or the other this man is allowed to have a career at a well known university. He is allowed to prosper and write books. This book and his thoughts are PRAISED by critics.
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