Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Soldier From LA's Gang Wars Speaks His Story

Tuesday, December 20, 2011
In the 1960s and 70s, Los Angeles was full of hippies, revolutionaries and rioters. Politically, it was a time when the federal government was sending undercover spies to infiltrate youth groups, the KKK was still a prominent voice in Valley affairs and the Vietnam war was brewing. It was a potent mix that would eventually give way to the Watts Rebellion, East LA riots, gang violence and other uprisings.

Luis Rodriguez chronicles all this and more in "It Calls You Back," a thrilling memoir about his transformation from gang member into journalist, writer and community revolutionary. At the heart of the book is the Rodriguez family's story: his daughter pregnant and in a failed relationship while still a teen, and his oldest son sentenced to jail for almost three decades. What makes their stories even more tragic is the fact that they followed, almost step for step, the path that Rodriguez and their mother had walked before struggling to turn their lives around decades later.

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