Gangland: An Encyclopedia of Gang Life from Cradle to Grave

2 vols. ABC-CLIO. Oct. 2018. 757p. ed. by Laura A. Finley. index. ISBN 9781440844737. $198; ebk. ISBN 9781440844744. SOC SCI
Finley (sociology & criminology, Barry Univ.) provides accurate, current information about all things gang related in the United States, with an emphasis on the most prominent gangs. Accordingly, street, motorcycle, hate, prison, ethnic, and female gangs are covered in detail within the book's 200 entries. Contributors, including criminologists, students, journalists, and community experts, deftly tap into society's fascination about the topic, explaining what gangs do, how they evolve, and why people join them, covering characteristics, demographics, membership requirements, and relevant court cases. The authors also address depiction of these groups in popular culture. Entries include "see also" references and materials for further ready. Some of the longer topics have related primary documents and pictures. Each volume in the set contains the same introduction and informative essay on the history of gangs in the United States, which some may find redundant. Volume 2 has a glossary, index, and extensive recommended resource list of books, journals, online resources, documentaries, and feature films.
VERDICT A strong starting point for students and general readers, especially high school students doing reports.

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