The Bandana Republic

  • by Louis Rivera, Bruce George
  • 5 hrs and 9 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Urban youth gangs are typically viewed as no more than training grounds for thugs and felons. This breakthrough anthology presents a far different picture, revealing present and former gang members' and street activists' artistic impulses, emotional sensitivities, political beliefs, and capacities to assess the social conditions that created them.The Bandana Republic contains powerful writing: fiction and essays, poetry, and polemics written by adolescents from gangs like the Crips and Bloods and the Mexican Mafia. There's also creative work by ex-gangbangers who have become activists, artists, musicians, and movie stars.J. Sheeler's "Seven Immortals" finds grim poetry in a young girl's gang initiation. Jaha Zainabu's "The Jungle (Blood Territory)" is a lacerating portrait of an L.A. Blood. Commander's "The Brothas Gunnin'" piercingly profiles a neighborhood - and a world - under siege.These writings give voice to an American subculture far richer and more complex than the headlines indicate.


What the Critics Say

"The energy and emotion in this anthology are maintained throughout the production in a myriad of ways. The mix of vocal talent adds to this collection of essays, poetry, fiction, and memoirs on what it means to survive in the world of gangs, violence, and drugs. Many of the narrators are activists, survivors, and icons from within the community, thus legitimizing both the book and audiobook." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

It surprised me in a good way

I don't know what I was thinking when I bought this book, I didn't realize it was so much poetry but I gave it a shot and much to my surprice I thought it was really good. The readers are very good and poems/prose like Letter to My Son by Luis J. Rodriguez are incredibly moving. I liked this book and it has probably given my some insight into a world I did not know much about (and into the hearts of men)
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- Fjolnir

Couldnt stand the reader..

What disappointed you about The Bandana Republic?

I thought it was gonna be read by the actual gangmembers, and have a foreword read by Jim Brown. Im new to audiobooks, only listened to Rosebudd's American Pimp before and that was read by Rosebudd, it felt authentic and actually took you there, not read by some academic type dude who sound like a accountant or some shit. Couldnt really listen to it...even with the Iceberg Slim: Pimp audiobook who was read by a square, it was actually listenable, but this wasent. Not hating on the book but they shoulda had somebody else read it cause its really hard to focus, i would recommend getting a paperback copy imstead of the audiobook most definitely.

Has The Bandana Republic turned you off from other books in this genre?


Who would you have cast as narrator instead of the narrator?

Morgan Freeman... Or Ice-T. Lol

Nah, just playing. But anybody with a street background who actually lived that life would sound more authentic. Not some number crunching dude from accounting.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Bandana Republic?

I dont know. Not reviewing the book im sure its great. Just the narrator i couldnt stand.

Any additional comments?

Its cool if you dont find my review useful since im not actually reviewing the book. I would recommend everybody to get it as a paperbavk copy because the narrators voice really ruins it and takes the authenticity away from it, at least for me.

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- Kevin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-25-2008
  • Publisher: Audible Studios