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Do or Die Paperback – May 20, 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The main narrators are the kids themselves, Bing only providing necessary background information and the thread that links individual experiences into a whole. Throughout the book she stays remarkably objective - never trying to hide her sympathy for G-Roc, Sidewinder, and Co., but not shying away from breaking with political correctness' irrevocable laws by describing one kid she visits in juvenile detention as somebody she "wants to be kept inside forever".
As far as I know, Bing, who by the way is an ex-model turned journalist who comes from money, which makes her undertaking even more remarkable, was the first author to seriously investigate ganglife and write about it. Thus, one might not find in Do or Die some information and analysis contained in later books. The lack of the latter has its plusses, though, since one is not forced to follow a particular line of thought, but has the opportunity to arrive at one's own conclusions.
Last but not least, the book is very well written. Bing's calm style alternates with the agitated torrent of gang speech. Relaxing moments, which, after all, still exist even in South Cental, take turn with descriptions of violent action. Overall, a great book. Required reading for anyone with only the slightest interest in gangs and urban America.
Bing shows that she has no true knowledge of the cities nor the gang life. If she would have done more research perhaps this book would be better. Also she does not name the gangs in which each of these young men belong to. I'm sure readers who are not familiar with los Angeles gangs would lobe to know which gangs these young men belong to.
There is also false information on page 155 and 156 about the crip and blood sets, some of the gangs are not in los Angeles.
Crip gangs not in LA:
Kelly park, Front hood, Pocket hood, Santana Blocc, Nutty blocc, and Lantana blocc (they are all compton crip gangs and all compton crip gangs go by compton crip for example it would be Kelly park compton crip. Also no crip gang would have the word block spelled the way it is. They use blocc because of the ck at the end would denote "crip killa" so bloc or blocc is the correct way)
Inglewood village crip ( they are located in Inglewood)
Grape street (located in watts, it is known as Grape street Watts)
Front street (Watts)
357 & Ghost town ( Pomona)
Insanes ( long beach and are rivals of the Long beach Rolling 20's the gang snoop dogg claims)
Pirus ( The only piru set located in los Angeles is the Rolling 30 pirus.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dialogue is real, from first person point of views. It makes you think about gangsters from the early 1990's.Published 1 month ago by Antoinette
This is a classic case of "don't judge a book by its cover." This book looks like a sensationalist piece of crap, but it's actually just the opposite. Read morePublished on February 18, 2012 by Nate
I lived in South Central LA for years in the 1980's and remember the horrors of all-out gang warfare. Read morePublished on September 24, 2011 by Neil The Unreel
....you should read this book. I first discovered this book in 2002 at my local library. I read the book, then read it again. Read morePublished on December 18, 2009 by Matt & Claire Wright
I saw a TV news show awhile back with Bing and decided to give the book a shot and bought it. Well, she sure tells it right from AtoZ! Read morePublished on May 30, 2009 by San Berdoo
Do or die is basically the same as "Monster" not word for word, but the same topic/subject and same matter involved, sadly I don't know why as a society we glorify scum... Read morePublished on March 13, 2009 by Jose Lopez
This, the (existential) mantra and title of this book is a fitting one as it aptly sums up both the gang's rallying cry and the nihilistic life styles the kids of the Crips and the... Read morePublished on February 7, 2009 by Herbert L Calhoun
Plain and simple, this book is absolutely horrible. The fact that the author went through the hood of L.A did not make up for how poorly this book was written. Read morePublished on October 18, 2006 by Cali