The Cross and the Switchblade

  • by David Wilkerson
  • Narrated by Paul Michael
  • 6 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The astonishing true story of Wilkerson's outreach to New York teens trapped by drugs and gangs.
Gang-fighters! Drug addicts. Teenage runaways and prostitutes! The toughest and most hopeless kids that New York's ghettos had to offer. Then a young preacher from the Pennsylvania hills arrived on their turf and began preaching a message of renewal, miracles, and God's love. This is one of the century's great true stories. Over 14 million copies in print!


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


The down to earth way of the preacher makes him relatable. He is honest about his fears and unbelief at events. He does a great job describing all the people he meets, specifically gang members and his experiences with them.

It does get slow around the 5 hour mark when he talks about the organization that he created. It picks up again about 30-45 minutes to the end.
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- Rastein "Filmmaker and artist in Los Angeles."

self-agrandizing? maybe... inspired? perhaps

I listened to this a few weeks ago, on the recommendation of a speaker whose opinion I respect.

The autobiography is about a small town preacher who follows the holy spirits urging (os so we must assume) and follows that urging to New York city. After some humiliating attempts to ensconce himself in a public trial, and bring the testimony of Jesus Christ to some murdering gang members, he eventually moves to the Big City. He starts to actually help lost children find meaning and purpose, and for some he helps to find God.

Often times the tone of the book struck me as holier-than-thou, or of a false humility, but I hesitate somewhat to say that, because I may be wrong. What he actually did was brave, and certainly much needed. His wife and child(ren) were so secondary while all this was happening that I wondered about his priorities a little bit, but put it down as secondary to the story he was relating.

I actually learned a lot about heroin addiction from this book, and how rare it is for someone to conquer this particular habit, so strong is it. I am glad I read it, but would not like to do it again. somewhat dated in feeling, I think this took place in the 50's or 60's.
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- Aaron

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-17-2011
  • Publisher: