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Our Guysby Bernard Lefkowitz
Synopses & Reviews
"This is a riveting yet horrifying tale. Lefkowitz has exposed the substrata of evil in a seemingly idyllic town, and he has done it in a way that makes for compulsive reading. Most troubling of all, you come away with the realization that what happened in Glen Ridge could happen anywhere". — Jonathan Harr, author of A Civil Action
In March 1989, a group of teenaged boys lured a retarded girl into a basement in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, where four of them raped her while others watched. Glen Ridge was the kind of peaceful, affluent suburb many Americans dream about. The rapists were its most popular high school athletes. And although rumors of the crime quickly, spread through the town, weeks passed before anyone saw fit to report it to the police.
What made these boys capable of brutalizing a girl that some of them had known since childhood? Why did so many of their elders — including parents and educators — deny the rape and rally around its perpetrators? Drawing on years of research and hundreds of interviews, Bernard Lefkowitz examines the characters of the defendants, their victim, and their families, friends, and teachers. He reconstructs the reluctant police investigation and the long, ugly trial at which a handicapped girl was depicted as a wily seductress. Our Guys is not only a hair-raising true crime story but a hauntingly nuanced portrait of our society's cult of the jock and its culture of unrestrained adolescent sexuality.
"Heartbreaking...a brave and unequivocating book, as important as Susan Brownmiller's Against Our Will". — Newsday
"An important book, a valuable record of how parents, teachers and coaches collude in creating All-American monsters". --Washington Post Book World
"Gripping.... I have never found a book faultless until now. All the elements of narrative, structure and analysis come together so seamlessly that...I couldn't put it down". — Leora Tanenbaum, Women's Review of Books
"Remarkable... A crime story brilliantly rendered". — The Weekly Standard
"Our Guys is more than a tragedy about lost youth. It is a tale about the failure of adults who thought they had given their children everything — but had somehow forgotten to impart the most basic values of civility and respect". — Philadelphia Inquirer
In 1989 a group of teenaged boys lured a retarded girl into a basement in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, where four of them raped her while the others watched. In this gripping book, Lefkowitz examines the characters of these boys, reconstructs the reluctant police investigation, and delves into the reasons why these boys from an affluent neighborhood could behave in this way. Photos.
In March 1989 a group of teenage boys lured a retarded girl into a basement in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, and gang-raped her. Glen Ridge was the kind of peaceful, affluent suburb many Americans dream about. The rapists were its most popular high school athletes. And although rumors of the crime quickly spread through the town, weeks passed before anyone saw fit to report it to the police. What made these boys capable of brutalizing a girl that some of them had known since childhood? Why did so many of their elders deny the rape and rally around its perpetrators? To solve this riddle, the Edgar award-winning author Bernard Lefkowitz conducted years of research and more than two hundred interviews. The result is not just a wrenching story of crime and punishment, but a hauntingly nuanced portrait of America's jock culture and the hidden world of unrestrained adolescent sexuality.
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
A Los Angeles Times Prize Finalist
An Edgar Finalist
About the Author
Bernard Lefkowitz, an Edgar award-winning author, has written three earlier books on social issues, including Tough Change: Growing Up on Your Own in America. He teaches journalism at Columbia University, and lives in Brooklyn, New York. His articles have appeared in Esquire, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, New York, Psychology Today, Ladies' Home Journal, The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, and The Los Angeles Times.
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