Summer Reading B2G1 Free

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Q&A | July 20, 2015

    Jesse Ball: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Jesse Ball

    Describe your latest book. I woke up one day from a sort of daydream with an idea for a book's structure, and for the thread of that book, one... Continue »
    1. $16.80 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      A Cure for Suicide

      Jesse Ball 9781101870129


This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.

Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

Jumped in: What Gangs Taught Me about Violence, Drugs, Love, and Redemption


Jumped in: What Gangs Taught Me about Violence, Drugs, Love, and Redemption Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Jumped In tells the story of the gangs of Los Angeles in the words of the gang members themselves as well as the people who interact with them on a daily basis--trying to arrest them, controlthem, and help them. There are priests and police officers, murderers and drug dealers, victims and grieving mothers, and other assorted characters, often partnering in unlikely ways. Jorja Leap's work draws upon intimatematerial, from interviews to eyewitness accounts, telling the deeply personal stories of current and former gang members who span three generations, as well as the dilemmas Leap herself faces as she struggles to adjust tomarriage and motherhood--with a husband in the LAPD and a daughter in adolescence. Jumped In is a chronicle of the unexpected lessons gang members taught her when she was busily studying them.Ultimately, it is a book about attachments and commitments, loyalties and betrayals, drugs and guns, sex and devotion.

When Leap began studying Los Angeles gang violence in 2002, she set out not so muchto provide a solution but to find out what was being done and who was doing it. The stakes couldn't have been higher: a child or teenager is killed by gunfire almost every three hours--nearly eight times a day--andhomicide is the primary cause of death of African American males between the ages of fifteen and thirty-four. During her years of research, this petite white woman from UCLA gained the trust of gang interventionists andaccess to their inner world. She sat in the living rooms, stood at the crime scenes, and drove through the housing projects. Through the oral histories, personal interviews, and eyewitness accounts of current and formergang members, readers come to understand gangs and the forces that pull people into them.

First we get the lay of the land: the genealogy and geography of gangs and sub-gangs, territories withinterritories. But the centerpiece of the book is really the stories of those people who live la vida loca, as well as the experiences of those trying to make things better. These stories are told in Leap's candidfirst-person voice, as she introduces us to gangland residents such as Tray, a young father trying to go straight who is nonetheless felled by a bullet, and Joanna, a third-generation gang member, who speaks of forbiddingher mother to sell drugs around her baby granddaughter. We also ride along with Leap and Big Mike, a former original gangster who now does street peace ministry. We see the successful Jobs not Jails program at HomeboyIndustries and learn that former gangsters make good paramedics and firefighters, accustomed to dangerous situations as they are. With an anthropologist's eye and a compassionate heart, Leap offers not a prescription forsolving the gang problem, but a gritty yet hopeful portrait of violence and redemption.

Product Details

Beacon Press
Social Science : Violence in Society
Leap, Jorja
Social Science : Criminology
Biography & Autobiography : Personal Memoirs
Social Science : Sociology - Urban
Publication Date:
March 2012

Related Subjects

Biography » General
History and Social Science » Crime » Criminology
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Violence in Society

Jumped in: What Gangs Taught Me about Violence, Drugs, Love, and Redemption
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details pages Beacon Press - English 9780807044575 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at