In Brownsville's twenty-one housing projects, the young cops and the teenagers who stand solemnly on the street corners are bitter and familiar enemies. The Ville, as the Brownsville-East New York section of Brooklyn is called by the locals, is one of the most dangerous places on earth-a place where homicide is a daily occurrence. Now, Greg Donaldson, a veteran urban reporter and a longtime teacher in Brooklyn's toughest schools, evokes this landscape with stunning and frightening accuracy.
The Ville follows a year in the life of two urban black males from opposite sides of the street. Gary Lemite, an enthusiastic young Housing police officer, charges recklessly into gunfire in pursuit of respect and promotion. Sharron Corley, a member of a gang called the LoLifes and the star of the Thomas Jefferson High School play, is also looking for respect as he tries to survive these streets.
Brilliantly capturing the firestorm of violence that is destroying a generation, waged by teenagers who know at thirty yards the difference between a MAC-10 machine pistol and a .357 Magnum, The Ville is the story of our inner cities and the lives of the young men who remain trapped there. In the tradition of There Are No Children Here, Clockers, and Random Family, The Ville is a vivid and unforgettable contribution to our understanding of race and violence in America today.
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 544 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
"The Ville is an ambitious, densely packed, atmospheric book. . . . [It] brings to life the smells, the feelings, the language of Brownsville-East New York and the people who form its world." * -The New York Times Book Review, from the first edition *
Full of charged moment's...[The Ville] vivifies the humanity of ghetto residents on both sides of the law, and stands as one of the most gripping inner-city chronicles of recent years. * -Kirkus Reviews, from the first edition *
"At considerable risk [Donaldson] has given our wounded society a book that is
smart, noble and potentially restorative. Read it. We need to."
An urgent and powerful book . . . [Donaldson] has bravely shadowed his characters to provide drama and detail. * -Dallas Morning News, from the first edition *
This is one of those books that make you want to run up and pump the writer's hand. The Ville is about the ghetto of Brownsville in Brooklyn, one of the most murderous neighborhoods in the world, meaner than Mogadishu and probably better armed; and Gred Donaldson, like no one before him, has gotten into the tragic, bullet-ridden heart of the place, learned to love its people and come out with their stories . . . The result is vivid, in-your-face journalism. . . * -Men's Journal, from the first edition *
Donaldson takes you through Brownsville at breakneck speed. A must read for anyone that's ever wondered what everyday living is really like-in the 'hood. * -Kathy Russell, coauthor, The Color Complex, from the first edition *
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