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A Nation of Lords: An Autobiography of the Vice Lords.

This is the second edition of a book David Dawley wrote in 1973 documenting the beginnings of the Vice Lords gang (to which he belongs), their early leadership and the power they amassed in the Lawndale section of Chicago.

Dawley has added several new chapters in this edition following up on the last 20 years of the gang's activities. Unfortunately, he fails to substantially document the fall of the Vice Lords from their more prosperous days. Instead, he provides a retrospective that attempts to solicit sympathy from readers regarding the gang's current plight.

The book's largest failing is the author's lack of objectivity. His viewpoint is clearly influenced by his close association with the Vice Lords. For example, he portrays local Chicago law enforcement officers and Mayor Richard Daley in negative terms without any response from them. Providing their input would have allowed readers to form their own opinions as to whether the Vice Lords were unfairly dealt with by Mayor Daley's administration.

The author leads you to believe his book is a biography of the Vice Lords. In actuality, the book should not be considered an entirely accurate biography due to the intentional omissions of information and lack of supporting documentation from those the author maintains were against the Vice Lords.

The information in the book is based on the author's personal relationships with the Vice Lords' leadership. Dawley attempts to convince readers that the Vice Lords were misunderstood. But his documentation is one-sided, leaving the reader questioning his motives for writing this book.

It appears the book was written by the Vice Lords for the Vice Lords. Thus, this book would not serve as a very good educational tool for correctional practitioners interested in learning about gangs.
COPYRIGHT 1993 American Correctional Association, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Riley, William
Publication:Corrections Today
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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