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The Central Park Five: A Chronicle of a City Wilding

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The Central Park Five: A Chronicle of a City Wilding Cover

ISBN13: 9780307266149
ISBN10: 0307266141
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Review-A-Day

"The story of the woman who was brutally raped on April 19, 1989, and who would come to be known as the Central Park jogger, is a horrifying one. But Sarah Burns' The Central Park Five: A Chronicle of a City Wilding is not about the heartbreaking assault and subsequent heroic recovery of Patricia Meili, the white, 28-year-old victim of the notorious crime. It is the story of the five African-American teens who were convicted of her rape, sentenced and imprisoned, only to have those convictions vacated 13 years later." Jessica Ferri, NPR (Read the entire NPR review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A riveting, in-depth account of one of New York City's most notorious crimes.

On April 20, 1989, the body of a woman is discovered in Central Park, her skull so badly smashed that nearly 80 percent of her blood has spilled onto the ground. Within days, five black and Latino teenagers confess to her rape and beating. In a city where urban crime is at a high and violence is frequent, the ensuing media frenzy and hysterical public reaction is extraordinary. The young men are tried as adults and convicted of rape, despite the fact that the teens quickly recant their inconsistent and inaccurate confessions and that no DNA tests or eyewitness accounts tie any of them to the victim. They serve their complete sentences before another man, serial rapist Matias Reyes, confesses to the crime and is connected to it by DNA testing.

Intertwining the stories of these five young men, the police officers, the district attorneys, the victim, and Matias Reyes, Sarah Burns unravels the forces that made both the crime and its prosecution possible. Most dramatically, she gives us a portrait of a city already beset by violence and deepening rifts between races and classes, whose law enforcement, government, social institutions, and media were undermining the very rights of the individuals they were designed to safeguard and protect.

Review:

"Everyone in New York City (and likely beyond) is familiar with the beginning of the story of the 'Central Park Jogger,' a white woman who was raped and left for dead in 1989. What happened next, though, is far less well known, making this powerful book feel especially necessary as it answers the question ('whatever happened to those kids?') that became as troubling as the horrific event itself. In her first book, Burns bravely revisits the details of that night, along with the months and years that followed. Weaving together extensive interviews with the teenage boys (now men) initially convicted and their families, while simultaneously providing extensive cultural context, Burns examines the forces that ultimately obliterated any genuine or humane attempt to uncover the truth. Astoundingly, despite such methodical research, no mention is made of Joan Didion's seminal 1991 essay, 'Sentimental Journeys,' which originally articulated most (if not all) of these same challenges to the city's psyche. However, Burns deserves credit for bringing the injustice these young men endured to light in the 21st century. As she draws attention to Mayor Bloomberg's recent mention of 'wilding,' it's clear that the city's narrative continues to ignore the poor until someone is needed to blame. A documentary with Burns's father, Ken, is in the works. "
Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

“This is a controversial and important book, presenting a powerful argument that the minority youths who are convicted of raping and nearly murdering “the Central Park Jogger” were innocent of that crime (though not necessarily of other violent crimes committed in Central Park that night). It demonstrates that our justice system is far from full proof even in the face of alleged confession, eyewitness and forensic evidence. Were these false convictions based on understandable mistakes? Or were they based on racial stereotyping? Read this fine book and make up your own mind.” Alan M. Dershowitz, author of The Trials of Zion

Review:

“Gripping from start to finish, The Central Park Five is an unvarnished look at one of the most infamous crimes in New York City history. You may think you know the true story of the Central Park jogger, but you don’t. Sarah Burns tells a harrowing story, in which her only allegiance is to the truth.” Kevin Baker, author of Dreamland

Review:

“Remarkable...Straightforward, thought-provoking reportage.” Booklist

Review:

“Measured, riveting...The Central Park Five is an important book.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Synopsis:

US

About the Author

Sarah Burns graduated from Yale University in 2004 with a degree in American studies and went on to work for Moore & Goodman, a small civil rights law firm based in New York. She is now producing a documentary film with Ken Burns based on this book. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Pam from New Jersey, January 3, 2013 (view all comments by Pam from New Jersey)
This book turned my head around... on what is reported in the media, what police detectives do to suspects, what stereotypes we the public so readily believe. I remember the weekend the headlines screamed "Wilding" about this horrible crime; of course these kids were guilty and anyone saying differently was reactionary and playing the race card. I'm writing in cliches because this is how this UNTRUTH was accepted by me at the time. I'd heard the young men were exonerated a few years ago, but that story - cliche again - got very little coverage. I don't recall anyone commenting on it on TV.

This book spells it out. It is un-be-liev-able but it is TRUE. I highly recommend this book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307266149
Author:
Burns, Sarah
Publisher:
Alfred A. Knopf
Subject:
General True Crime
Subject:
Crime - True Crime
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20110531
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 PAGES OF PHOTOGRAPHS + 1 MAP
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9.51 x 6.5 x 0.98 in 1.16 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » Women
History and Social Science » Crime » Criminology
History and Social Science » Crime » General
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Law » Legal Guides and Reference
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

The Central Park Five: A Chronicle of a City Wilding Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Knopf - English 9780307266149 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Everyone in New York City (and likely beyond) is familiar with the beginning of the story of the 'Central Park Jogger,' a white woman who was raped and left for dead in 1989. What happened next, though, is far less well known, making this powerful book feel especially necessary as it answers the question ('whatever happened to those kids?') that became as troubling as the horrific event itself. In her first book, Burns bravely revisits the details of that night, along with the months and years that followed. Weaving together extensive interviews with the teenage boys (now men) initially convicted and their families, while simultaneously providing extensive cultural context, Burns examines the forces that ultimately obliterated any genuine or humane attempt to uncover the truth. Astoundingly, despite such methodical research, no mention is made of Joan Didion's seminal 1991 essay, 'Sentimental Journeys,' which originally articulated most (if not all) of these same challenges to the city's psyche. However, Burns deserves credit for bringing the injustice these young men endured to light in the 21st century. As she draws attention to Mayor Bloomberg's recent mention of 'wilding,' it's clear that the city's narrative continues to ignore the poor until someone is needed to blame. A documentary with Burns's father, Ken, is in the works. "
Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review A Day" by , "The story of the woman who was brutally raped on April 19, 1989, and who would come to be known as the Central Park jogger, is a horrifying one. But Sarah Burns' The Central Park Five: A Chronicle of a City Wilding is not about the heartbreaking assault and subsequent heroic recovery of Patricia Meili, the white, 28-year-old victim of the notorious crime. It is the story of the five African-American teens who were convicted of her rape, sentenced and imprisoned, only to have those convictions vacated 13 years later." (Read the entire NPR review)
"Review" by , “This is a controversial and important book, presenting a powerful argument that the minority youths who are convicted of raping and nearly murdering “the Central Park Jogger” were innocent of that crime (though not necessarily of other violent crimes committed in Central Park that night). It demonstrates that our justice system is far from full proof even in the face of alleged confession, eyewitness and forensic evidence. Were these false convictions based on understandable mistakes? Or were they based on racial stereotyping? Read this fine book and make up your own mind.”
"Review" by , “Gripping from start to finish, The Central Park Five is an unvarnished look at one of the most infamous crimes in New York City history. You may think you know the true story of the Central Park jogger, but you don’t. Sarah Burns tells a harrowing story, in which her only allegiance is to the truth.”
"Review" by , “Remarkable...Straightforward, thought-provoking reportage.”
"Review" by , “Measured, riveting...The Central Park Five is an important book.”
"Synopsis" by , US
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