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This Is for the Mara Salvatrucha: Inside the MS-13, America's Most Violent Gang Hardcover – July 7, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Investigative reporter Logan uses Brenda's story as a way of writing about MS-13, and the book follows her for about two years, starting roughly from the time she moved to Texas to live with her uncle's family until her murder. Her relatives apparently didn't give her a whole lot of nurturing or attention, and as a result, the otherwise extremely bright and bubbly Brenda drifted into gang life. She quickly made friends with a local MS-13 clique, became the girlfriend of their leader, and was jumped in as a member. She spent a little less than a year with the gang, mainly in Texas and Virginia, before she decided to cooperate with police rather than serve jail time. Her apparent photographic memory made her a treasure trove for the cops, and she gave countless interviews to law enforcement officials from all over the country, culminating in a lengthy video-taped session that was adapted into a training video for police on MS-13. Naturally, a number of MS-13 people began to suspect her of being an informant, and as a result of a series of farcical bureaucratic errors and her own hubris, she was killed.
While this picture from inside the gang is often very vivid and interesting, it's not particularly in-depth.Read more ›
This is an ironic situation for academics, given that the fundamental roots of criminological and delinquent theories describing gangs are strongly rooted in Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin's analysis of gang subcultures in New York -- primarily Puerto Rican and Dominican.
And yet few know much about the Latino gangs concentrated along the southwest border of the USA. Many have a general understanding of MS-13 -- the ritualized elaborate tattoos especially on faces, their roots in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, and a reputation for brutal violence etc.
Samuel Logan's book will fill the knowledge gap for anyone teaching delinquency or advanced courses about gangs and street crime. It will be especially useful for people interested in the role of women within violent gangs. The author is a veteran international reporter , and presents a detailed picture of a Mara Salvatrucha gang from the narrative of view of a female chivato -- (informer). Many sociological ideas are nicely illustrated here -- "sexing-in" vs. "jumping-in" etc. The best thing is that most students will love the book because it's tale of abandonment, alienation and teen angst will resonate on a personal level.
Logan's book is an excellent complements to the recent movie, "Sin Nombre" about Mara Salvatrucha gangs and their distorted internal code of "honor" and their relationship to women and family. That movie was written and directed by Cary Fukunagawho rode the rails with migrants from Central America.[...].
Though the author is described as an investigative journalist, this book is, at best, creative non-fiction: it does not contain a single reference! As if that weren't bad enough, the author appears to believe that he has insight into what a range of individuals - from criminal suspects to law enforcement officials to murder victims - feel at any given time, including the moment of their deaths. What I find most egregious is the author's gross generalizations and pseudopsychological musings on the factors that draw young latinos to MS-13, namely the unsubstantiated claim that children reunited with their parents upon relocating to the united states are unloved and unaccepted, and therefore turn to a life of crime.
Compelling as the story may be, the writing is repetitive, simplistic, and mediocre at best. It reads more like a first draft than a complete work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A page turner. gives you an inside look of what MS-13 is all about. Frightening to say the least. Finished it 3 dayaPublished 2 months ago by Ms. K
Books keeps you interested dispite the length of chapters real good bookPublished 5 months ago by Ethan Miranda
Watch Gangland and you will get the same experience as this book. It's almost as if the author watched the show and then wrote the book verbatim.Published 8 months ago by J Voigt
Interesting read. The young woman in the book is obviously manipulative, so it is curious as to how the narrative was largely based on her interviews and testimony, etc. Read morePublished 11 months ago by cl
I'm amazed at how stupid this girl was. With all of the help of the federal government they couldn't save her from her own dumb self.Published 14 months ago by Cynthia Cabral
Mostly focusing on the case study of Brenda Paz and her life the author really brings every detail to life in an exciting format. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Julia
I enjoyed this book then I watched the gangland show of MS13. True story is my fav.Published 17 months ago by Rosa Medina
An interesting book on the MS-13 told through the story of Brenda Paz, a gang member who turned informant and was killed for it. Read morePublished on April 20, 2014 by Seth Ferranti- Gorilla Convict Publications