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Jumped In: What Gangs Taught Me about Violence, Drugs, Love, and Redemption Hardcover – March 6, 2012
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“Jumped In…sprints way past scholarly and educational, aiming for the outright transformational.”—UCLA Today
“…Raw and engaging…must-read, an eye-opener and heart-expander.”—The San Francisco Book Review
“Leap, a professor of social welfare at UCLA, crafts a fascinating if troubling ethnography of gang culture in Los Angeles… There is much to admire about Leap’s study: its novelistic style, how well the dialogue conveys the inner lives of Leap’s interviewees, the mosaic-like organization.”—Publishers Weekly
“Why are nearly five thousand kids and young adults still shot to death each year in America—and what can be done about it? Jumped In is the haunting, funny, tragic and revelatory tale in which Jorja Leap takes us into the heart of these questions. Leap’s frank and enthralling personal narrative introduces us to a parade of cops, gangsters, homegirls, drug dealers and unlikely heroes, each in possession of a fragment of the needed answers. We watch as Leap’s own existence is fundamentally altered by these often deeply intimate encounters. And, in accompanying her, we too emerge humanized and wiser for the experience.”—Celeste Fremon, author of G-Dog and the Homeboys, editor/founder of WitnessLA.com and The California Justice Report
“What makes Jorja Leap a gang expert is not just her years of experience and indefatigable research, but her heightened reverence for the enormous complexity of the gang dilemma. Jumped In gives us a window into a world of a sub-grouping of the poor who few understand and too many demonize. Her view is both “aerial” and “in the weeds” while always staying heartbreakingly compassionate and true. Her work gives me hope.”—Gregory J. Boyle, S.J., Founder and Executive Director, Homeboy Industries
“Dr. Leap uncovers the good, the bad, and the ugly reality facing the Los Angeles Police Department, the thinly staffed county departments that provide social services, and the school districts that attempt to educate children who emerge from often dysfunctional families. The journey of Jumped In will put a reader on an emotional roller-coaster ride from indifference to sorrow to sympathy for this portion of society so many Angelenos comfortably drive past.”—Lee Baca, sheriff, Los Angeles County
“Leap’s strength is her comprehensive investigation into organic campaigns, community initiatives, research, and political maneuvering to decrease gang activity.”—VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I've been working in the field of social welfare and human rights for the past ten years. Throughout my childhood and the course of my career, I have experienced firsthand some of the things Jorja writes about; it's what led me to seek an MSW at the age of thirty. This book touches home in so many ways, and I can't even begin to tell about the flood of memories that resurge when I read this book. This book, if anything, helped reaffirm the reality that social work is my calling - - and I hope that for those that aren't completely aware of the world that they live in, of the poverty right under their nose, and of the people living alongside us that are living (and dying) through the hell of drugs, poverty, gang life, and incarceration - - I hope they would sit down and read this book. Jorja's work is commendable, and I can only hope that one day I will be half the social worker she is.
Whether you're someone that works in a helping profession, or you're someone that has never seen a second of poverty, or you are someone that has lost a friend or family member to drugs and gang violence - - I strongly urge you... I beg you to read this book.
I also learned that the proceeds of this book go to Homeboy Industries... you learn something amazing, and you benefit an organization that saves countless lives... it just goes to show you where her heart is (if the pages of the book don't already make it clear enough).
However...I gave up.
This book is more about the author's high-brow view of herself and her own personal life. The gang stories interwoven almost come off as incidental. She would rather take you into her personal life...me me me. I didn't buy a book to read how a middle-aged woman is finding herself. This is Eat, Love and Pray with a guy throwing up gang signs on occasion.
It reads liks a bad diary. The tone is mired in self-righteousness and lacks any sort of journalistic or even academic voice. Its light on substance and heavy in Ms. Leap's personal life and just how great and non-conforming she is. Who knows, she may be both, but it ia certainly not what I expected.
I read Father Greg and the Homeboys, and that book is more true to the subject matter and less self-promoting than this book. If you want to read a good first-person account of someone who ingrained themself in gang activity and produced a subtantive work, buy Father Greg's book instead.
I wish I could have my 15 dollars back.
I could not get past the 90 page barrier.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
lots of insigt into gang experience and what the draw a gang is for poor young people--Published 12 months ago by mary anne lower
Jorja Leap mixes personal challenges with her career challenge of researching LA gangs in this book. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Randolph Hay
Loved the book! A relatable read. Not a lot of dry yawn academia.Published 23 months ago by Adrian B.
In order to recommend this book to others the author needs to clear up her language. I found it very disrespectful to the reader to use foul language throughout the book. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Frances Garrett