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Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America Hardcover – January 27, 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 709 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month for February 2015: There’s a statistic that surfaces early in Jill Leovy’s fundamentally important book Ghettoside that should catch your attention: black men compose about 6% of the country’s population, yet they are the victim in nearly 40% of homicides. And who’s killing those black men? The answer is most often other black men. Leovy, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, explores the culture of black violence, specifically in South Central LA, describing a world that seems to exist hermetically sealed off from the rest of the city. With nearly zero mobility and little policing, the people of South Central are left to fend for themselves—further amplifying the devastating drumbeat of gangs and violence. Leovy builds her book around one family’s story: Wally Tennelle, an LA cop, has refused to move his wife and kids out of his Watts neighborhood. Then his youngest son is murdered (unlike most murders in the area, this one was covered by the local media). Through the gathering of evidence, the roundup of suspects, and the trial that ultimately comes to be—all spearheaded by John Skaggs, a very dedicated and capable LA homicide detective—Leovy makes the argument that what places like South Central need is more policing, not less. They need more attention—not debate, finger pointing, and inaction. – Chris Schluep

Review

“A serious and kaleidoscopic achievement . . . [Jill Leovy is] a crisp writer with a crisp mind and the ability to boil entire skies of information into hard journalistic rain.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
 
“Masterful . . . gritty reporting that matches the police work behind it.”Los Angeles Times
 
“Moving and engrossing.”San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Penetrating and heartbreaking . . . Ghettoside points out how relatively little America has cared even as recently as the last decade about the value of young black men’s lives.”USA Today
 
“Functions both as a snappy police procedural and—more significantly—as a searing indictment of legal neglect . . . Leovy’s powerful testimony demands respectful attention.”The Boston Globe
 
Ghettoside is fantastic. It does what the best narrative nonfiction does: It transcends its subject by taking one person’s journey and making it all our journeys. That’s what makes this not just a gritty, heart-wrenching, and telling book, but an important one. From the patrol cop to the president, everyone needs to read this book.”—Michael Connelly
 
Ghettoside is remarkable: a deep anatomy of lawlessness.”—Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal
 
“[Leovy writes] with grace and artistry, and controlled—but bone-deep—outrage in her new book. . . . Ghettoside, if there’s any justice, will be the most important book about urban violence in a generation.”—David M. Kennedy, The Washington Post
 
“Riveting . . . This timely book could not be more important.”—Associated Press
 
“Told with the chilling detail and gripping pace of a prime-time drama.”—The Economist
 
“Leovy’s relentless reporting has produced a book packed with valuable, hard-won insights—and it serves as a crucial, 366-page reminder that ‘black lives matter.’ ”The New York Times Book Review
 
“A compelling analysis of the factors behind the epidemic of black-on-black homicide, and the beginnings of a policy prescription for tackling it . . . an important book, which deserves a wide audience.”—Hari Kunzru, The Guardian
 
Ghettoside has many successes: its complicated portrait of the LAPD, the humanity it lends to the families of murder victims, and its ability to engage readers from a historical and current-day context (the sundry facts Leovy provides throughout the book never overwhelm).”—Jason Parham, Gawker
 
“A brave book . . . It is not often that I pick up a work of non-fiction and picture the movie unfolding before my eyes. . . . [Ghettoside] offers a calm dissection of America’s oldest epidemic. . . . [Leovy’s] knowledge makes for lapidary prose that crackles with insight. It is also deeply humane.”Financial Times
 
“First-rate stuff.”Newsweek

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top international reviews

C. L. Weekes
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read book for social history / police policy
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 28, 2015
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M. McGrath
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for fans of David Simon
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 21, 2015
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mr M Bedford
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 12, 2015
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alan g
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty
Reviewed in Canada on April 4, 2016
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L. Arnold
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for illumination about racial violence and murder in America
Reviewed in Germany on March 5, 2015
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Tamara R.
5.0 out of 5 stars Empfehlung!
Reviewed in Germany on March 13, 2019
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MG
5.0 out of 5 stars Interessanter Einblick
Reviewed in Germany on January 2, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent real life amplification of the principle that when the ...
Reviewed in Canada on April 14, 2017
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Private Label Laundry Ltd
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and well researched
Reviewed in Canada on February 7, 2015
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Alice Randall
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
Reviewed in Canada on April 19, 2015
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