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   Lives in Stress

Addiction, Crime, Economic Stress, Gangs, Loss, Prison



Damaged angels : an adoptive mother discovers the tragic toll of alcohol in pregnancy / Bonnie Buxton

618.3268 BUXTON 2005

What's this item about? What makes it part heartfelt memoir, part practical guide?  Damaged Angels recounts Bonnie Buxton's struggles to raise an adopted daughter whom she didn't realize was afflicted with fetal alcohol disorder. Her book also offers guidance to parents who have children with FASD.

Drinking / Jack B. Weiner

362.292 WEINER 1976

Written in 1976 the author collected the personal stories of "just people" who had lived lives torn apart by alcoholism.

It calls you back : an odyssey through love, addiction, revolutions, and healing / Luis J. Rodriguez

364.1066 RODRIGU 2011

In a harrowing journey from drugged-out gang member to one of the most revered figures in Chicano literature, Luis J. Rodriguez continues the remarkable story of his bestselling memoir. Readers came to know Rodriguez through his fearless classic, Always Running, which chronicled his life as a young Chicano gang member surviving the dangerous streets of East Los Angeles. This long-awaited follow-up is the equally harrowing story of starting over, at age eighteen, after leaving gang life-- the only life he really knew. It opens with Rodriguez's struggle to kick heroin, renounce his former life, and search for meaningful work. He describes his challenges as a father and his difficulty leaving his rages and addictions completely behind. Even as he begins to discover success as a writer and an activist, Rodriguez finds that his past-- the crimes, the drugs, the things he'd seen and done-- has a way of calling him back.


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Legacies of crime : a follow-up of the children of highly delinquent girls and boys / Peggy C. Giordano

364.36 GIORDAN 2010

"Legacies of Crime explores the lives of seriously delinquent girls and boys in the United States who were followed over a twenty-year period as they grew to adulthood. In-depth interviews with these women and men and their children - a majority now adolescents themselves - depict the adults' economic and social disadvantages and continued criminal involvement, and in turn the unique vulnerabilities of their children. Giordano identifies family dynamics that foster the intergenerational transmission of crime, violence, and drug abuse, rejecting the notion that such continuities are based solely on genetic similarities or even lax, inconsistent parenting. The author breaks new ground in directly exploring - and in the process revising - the basic tenets of classic social learning theories, and confronting the complications associated with the parent's gender. Legacies of Crime also identifies factors associated with resilience in the face of what is often a formidable package of risks favoring intergenerational continuity"

No matter how loud I shout : a year in the life of Juvenile Court /Edward Humes

364.3609 HUMES 1997

Written in 1997, No Matter How Loud I Shout offers a rare look inside the juvenile court system that deals with these children and the impact decisions made in the courts had on the rest of their lives. Granted unprecedented access to the Los Angeles Juvenile Court, including the judges, the probation officers, and the children themselves, Edward Humes creates an unforgettable portrait of a chaotic system that is neither saving our children in danger nor protecting us from adolescent violence. Yet he shows us there is also hope in the handful of courageous individuals working tirelessly to triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds.


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Always running : la vida loca, gang days in L.A. / Luis J. Rodriguez

364.1092 RODRIGU 1994

By age twelve, Luis Rodriguez was a veteran of East Los Angeles gang warfare. Lured by a seemingly invincible gang culture, he witnessed countless shootings, beatings, and arrests and then watched with increasing fear as gang life claimed friends and family members. Before long, Rodriguez saw a way out of the barrio through education and the power of words and successfully broke free from years of violence and desperation. 

Hell's Angel : the life and times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle club / Ralph. Barger

364.1066 BARGER 2000

The only authorized, authentic book about the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club by founding member, Sonny Barger—featuring a brand new introduction. Narrated by the visionary founding member, Hell's Angel provides a fascinating all-access pass to the secret world of the notorious Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club. Sonny Barger recounts the birth of the original Oakland Hell's Angels and the four turbulent decades that followed. Hell's Angel also chronicles the way the HAMC revolutionized the look of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle and built what has become a worldwide bike-riding fraternity, a beacon for freedom-seekers the world over.

Two badges : the lives of Mona Ruiz Mona / Ruiz Geoff Boucher


With this riveting autobiography, Mona Ruiz and co-author Geoff Boucher spin a gripping tale of one womans private war to escape the tentacles of the street gangs that have carved her barrio into turfs where one misstep leads to violence. This engrossing memoir charts Ruizs journey toward self-identity, tracing the tortuous path of her life, a life in which Ruiz assumed contradictory roles: gang chola, high school drop-out, disowned daughter, battered wife, welfare mother, student, and policewoman. At each step in the journey, Ruiz faced violence, ridicule, and skepticism. She nevertheless prevailed in exchanging her badge of social defiance for one of protecting her community. This eloquent monument to courage and triumph against all odds will inspire every reader who has at some time felt overwhelmed by the daunting challenges life brandishes. 


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Copy Of -Nickel and dimed : on (not) getting by in America / Barbara. Ehrenreich

339.4603 EHRENRE 2001

 In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job -- any job -- could be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on six to seven dollars an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered as a woefully inexperienced homemaker returning to the workforce. So began a grueling, hair raising, and darkly funny odyssey through the underside of working America. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, Ehrenreich worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly "unskilled," that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors. 

The poorhouse : America's forgotten institution / David Wagner

973.911 WAGNER 2005

Many of us grew up hearing our parents exclaim 'you are driving me to the poorhouse!' or remember the card in the 'Monopoly' game which says 'Go to the Poorhouse! Lose a Turn!' Yet most Americans know little or nothing of this institution that existed under a variety of names for approximately three hundred years of American history. Surprisingly these institutions variously named poorhouses, poor farms, sometimes almshouses or workhouses, have received rather scant academic treatment, as well, though tens of millions of poor people were confined there, while often their neighbors talked in hushed tones and in fear of their own fate at the 'specter of the poorhouse.' Based on the author's study of six New England poorhouses/poor farms, a hidden story in America's history is presented which will be of popular interest as well as useful as a text in social welfare and social history. While the poorhouse's mission was character reform and 'repressing pauperism,' these goals were gradually undermined by poor people themselves, who often learned to use the poorhouse for their own benefit, as well as by staff and officials of the houses, who had agendas sometimes at odds with the purposes for which the poorhouse was invented.


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All alone in the world : children of the incarcerated / Nell Bernstein

364.8097 BERNSTE 2005

Introduction --- Arrest --- Sentencing --- Visiting --- Grandparents --- Foster care --- Reentry --- Legacy. 
A look at the parents and over two million children in the United States affected by current incarceration policy. 

Eye of the hurricane : my path from darkness to freedom / Rubin Carter

365.6092 CARTER 2011

Introduction : a prisoner of ignorance : living in darkness -- Boys' prison : light where the sun don't shine -- The prison of family : what my father didn't tell me -- Image and identification : two ways we keep ourselves asleep -- Surviving prison : awakening to myself -- The hole in the wall : finding the higher path -- Taking "the work" out into the world : turning water into wine -- The rewards and responsibilities of a conscious life : the way of a one-eyed man -- Why I left the association in defense of the wrongly convicted : acting upon the truth -- Just enough : home free. 
Eye of the Hurricane: My Path from Darkness to Freedom is a self-portrait of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a twentieth-century icon and controversial victim of the U.S. justice system turned spokesperson for the wrongfully convicted. In this moving narrative Dr. Carter tells of all the "prisons" he has survived--from his childhood through his wrongful incarceration and after. A spiritual as well as a factual autobiography, Eye of the Hurricane explores Carter's personal philosophy, born of the unimaginable duress of wrongful imprisonment and conceived through his defiance of the brutal institution of prison and ten years of solitary confinement. His is not a comfortable story or a comfortable philosophy, but it offers hope for those who have none and serves as a call to action for those who abhor injustice. 

I am a fugitive from a Georgia chain gang / Robert Elliott Burns

365.6092 BURNS 1997

For nearly a century after the Civil War, the State of Georgia treated its convicted felons harshly, first leasing them to private companies and later working them on county roads. Working the convicts relentlessly under sometimes brutal conditions, the authorities abandoned reformation and exploited cheap labor. Brooklyn-born Burns returned from World War I a misfit veteran. Reduced to desperation and robbery, he was arrested in 1922 and sentenced to six to ten years on the Georgia chain gang. After suffering torturous treatment and escaping, Burns wrote his story in 1931.

The other Wes Moore : one name, two fates / Wes Moore

305.896 MOORE 2011

Traces the parallel lives of two youths with the same name in the same community, describing how the author grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar and promising business leader while his counterpart suffered a life of violence and imprisonment. 

Mr. Smith goes to prison : what my year behind bars taught me about America's prison crisis / Jeff Smith

365.973 SMITH 2015

"The fall from politico to prisoner isn't necessarily long, but the landing, as Missouri State Senator Jeff Smith learned, is a hard one. In 2009, Smith pleaded guilty to a seemingly minor charge of campaign malfeasance and earned himself a year and one day in Kentucky's FCI Manchester. Mr. Smith Goes to Prison is the fish-out-of-water story of his time in the big house; of the people he met there and the things he learned: how to escape the attentions of fellow inmate Cornbread and his friends in the Aryan Brotherhood; what constitutes a prison car and who's allowed to ride in yours; how to bend and break the rules, whether you're a prisoner or an officer. And throughout his sentence, the young Senator tracked the greatest crime of all: the deliberate waste of untapped human potential. Smith saw the power of millions of inmates harnessed as a source of renewable energy for America's prison-industrial complex, a system that aims to build better criminals instead of better citizens. In Mr. Smith Goes to Prison, he traces the cracks in America's prison walls, exposing the shortcomings of a racially-based cycle of poverty and crime that sets inmates up to fail. Speaking from inside experience, he offers practical solutions to jailbreak the nation from the financially crushing grip of its own prisons and to jumpstart the rehabilitation of the millions living behind bars."


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The hope in leaving : a memoir / Barbara Williams


On the day she is leaving town to escape her troubled family and to start over at twenty-four--she finds a note on her mother's door. Her brother has shot himself. In stories that face reality so squarely they express what usually goes unsaid--from exhilaration to despair--Barbara Williams remembers her childhood leading up to this moment. Her father is a logger, nomad, and born dreamer. Her mother has too many kids and never enough money to support or protect them. The family keeps on the move, shedding a grand total of twenty-seven homes. Williams remembers having one hope as a child, 'the hope in leaving and doing better next time.' But poverty, mental illness, substances abuse, and injustice pursued them wherever they went. They lived smalltown life hard and suffered, most of all her brother--the fearless star of their childhood adventures and misadventures.

Matt's last call : surviving our protectors / Julie Zielinski

362.28 ZIELINS 2012

Life does not train you for this. Tragedies like this can easily separate you from your sanity. All the usual unanswerable questions begin to flood your mind. And so the blame game moves on. Maybe as parents we were at fault. On and on it goes. Almost from the beginning, however, the Lord would not permit me to go there. There seemed to be some God-ordained plan in motion that would turn this evil into something good.When Julie Zielinski s fun-loving, marine, sheriff deputy son commits suicide, her world comes crashing down. Questions flood her mind: How could she have stopped this? What next? And mostly, why? As Julie grieves her son in Matt's Last Call: Surviving Our Protectors, she reflects on the life he lived and the memories she will hold onto forever.

When darkness comes : saying "no" to suicide / Angerona S. Love

364.1509 LOVE 2010

Delve inside the suicidal mind with a raw and naked look at Angerona Love's struggle to stay alive after the fatal suicide of her fiancé. Love has broken the stigma with an insightful perspective of ways she stayed alive when her own mind relentlessly wanted to kill her. Helpful for people considering suicide, the people who love them, and mental health professionals, When Darkness Comes provides increased understanding into the mind of someone battling suicide and offers tips to continue breathing when breathing no longer seems bearable. 

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