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The Gangs of Los Angeles Paperback – June 21, 2007


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Paperback, June 21, 2007
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (June 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595443575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595443574
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Dunn is a Detective Sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department. A former CRASH officer and renowned gang expert, Dunn has instructed law enforcement nationwide regarding the current MS-13 gang epidemic. A UCLA graduate, Dunn lives near L.A.

Customer Reviews

The editing and grammar, however, are absolutely unforgivable for a published book.
Scott Hedegard
This is a fine book and i recommend it to anyone who doesn't know anything about gangs but wants to become an expert overnight.
A. Warfel
William Dunn has written an excellent book about the history of gangs in Los Angeles.
Sam I Am

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By W. Dunn on July 10, 2007
This book is the culmination of five years I spent researching the history of LA's gang culture. I've been a gang cop (both in a CRASH unit and as a gang detective) in this city almost two decades, and I'd heard all the urban legends about the origins of the Crips, the Bloods, White Fence, MS-13, etc. Little of it made sense, and it seemed you could ask any two OG or Veteranos the same question about their gangs past and get two seperate answers. So I wanted to know what the truth was, especially after other gang investigators in other states, now being hit with our gang members who were migrating from our town to their areas, were calling me and asking me not only what we'd done to fight the gang culture, but how did it all begin. They didn't want to make the same mistakes. So I went back, into the 50', the 40's, the 30's, even back to 1892 when it all begins, to see how it started, and what the city did to suppress the gang culture, both the stuff that worked, and the stuff that didn't.

For more information about gangs you can read my other book Boot: An L.A.P.D. Officer's Rookie Year which details my first year as a street cop in South Central during the Crip and Blood wars of 1990. I will also soon be publishing a book called "The Tequila Triangle" which is a history of Mexican Border drug cartels like The Gulf, Juarez, Tijuana, Sonora, etc. Cartels; as well as the "Sicario" (assassination) groups like the Sinaloan Cowboys, Zetas and Kaibiles; and how all these organizations have corrupted and influened Los Angeles' gang and drug culture; and where these ties could be taking our country!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Warfel on July 30, 2007
I read Mr. Dunn's first book BOOT and loved it. My son is a police officer and it gave me great insight. So I thought I'd read this when I found he wrote a second. he is a wonderful writer, and he brings back 1940's and 1950's Los Angeles, and the way the gang stuff was going, just as I saw it. This is a fine book and i recommend it to anyone who doesn't know anything about gangs but wants to become an expert overnight. Now i know why we have a War on Gangs.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Scott Hedegard on April 28, 2008
Verified Purchase
With the American Mafia pretty much out of the picture, its having relocated to more white collar Wall Street crime (where there's plenty of company), the spread of gangs in the country's cities and smaller population centers where there's construction or some type of meat processing work to be had has become a real problem and a bigger threat to city life than ever before.
"The Gangs Of Los Angeles", by William Dunn, is a bit of a knock off of the classic "Gangs Of New York", but no less important or interesting. From the "Tomato Gangs" to the "West Side Story" style gangs of the late '50s, to the riots in Watts in 1965 and up to present day terrors like the Bloods and Crip gangs and Latin gangs like the dreaded MS13, Dunn paints a bleak picture, but also places the blame on lazy parenting, lack of a male authority figure and the nation's most historically corrupt and racist police force as ingredients in this violent stew that has spread nationwide.
The passion is there, the research is fine. The editing and grammar, however, are absolutely unforgivable for a published book. I have never read a book so full of misspelled words, even in direct quotes from other sources, poor punctuation, and italicizing where none is needed or makes sense. While I am the last to criticize his knowledge of his subject or his obvious concern, I recommend any further printings undergo a serious editing job. Such a botched script is insulting and costs the book two points. I'll edit a new manuscript for you, Mr. Dunn at a fair price if you're interested, because whomever your publisher and editor is, they sure aren't doing their job.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Russell A. Rohde MD on September 16, 2008
Verified Purchase
"The Gangs of Los Angeles", William Dunn, NY, iUniverse, Inc., 2007, ISBN: 978-0-595-44357-4, Pbk, 272 pgs. Includes Preface 3 pgs. Table Contents 1 pg.. 9" x 6".

A recognized gang expert and CRASH officer, UCLA Graduate Wm. Dunn is Detective Sgt. With Los Angeles Police Department. He has extensive first-hand knowledge of currently active gangs of their evolution and has provided nationwide instruction on the current MS-13 gang epidemic. Dunn provides a revealing accounting of the history of gangs since Biblical times and emphasizes the origin and evolution of Hispanic gangs, the Mexican Mafia, Blood & Crips, Hells Angeles, and details on dozens of the hundreds of other gangs now dispersed throughout the United States. He describes methodologies used by police, public officials and International authorities is identifying and dealing with gangs - with succinct commentary of the effectiveness or deleterious consequences of different intervention programs. Of especial importance is his depiction of the Mara Salvatrucha and its various offshoots, all of Salvadoran origin

Inveiglements for added clarity to this book would have been inclusion of maps of Greater LA, Mexican Counties and the Countries of Central America. This book is concise, covers the A to Zs of gangs and gangsters in its 19 chapters; and it is truly a classic book of the rise and dissemination of gangs, their diverse memberships, activities and influences throughout many parts of the world. Although moderately technical with names, dates and memberships, I'd consider it to be "Gangs 101" for anyone who professes to be knowledgeable in gangs and their activities.
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