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Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America

Cover: 'Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America'

Staff Review: "Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America" by Jill Leovy


This work of narrative journalism explores the complex issues contributing to the homicide rate in Los Angeles, focusing on the black-on-black homicide rate in South Central LA. The book is informed and inspired by Leovy’s experiences reporting on homicide for The Los Angeles Times, during which time she was an embedded reporter in the Seventy-seventh Division of the Los Angeles Police Department for two extended periods of time. The investigation into the murder of eighteen-year-old Bryant Tennelle, the son of a cop who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, provides the backbone for the narrative, which includes the perspectives of homicide detectives, victims, victims’ families, and the accused/convicted, and reveals the humanity behind the high homicide rate and the considerable effort required to investigate and prosecute homicide cases in the area known as Ghettoside. Insightful, gripping, and searing in its implications, this book combines compelling personal stories with thoughtful sociological analysis of homicide in the inner city. Issues explored will be familiar to fans of the HBO series The Wire, and this book will be of interest to readers of The New Jim Crow and true crime.

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

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