Inside the Crips There once was a time when the terrorist threat against America came from within, when L.A. street gangs were one of law enforcement's top priorities.… Inside the Crips There once was a time when the terrorist threat against America came from within, when L.A. street gangs were one of law enforcement's top priorities.… 2005-08-01 Memoir Nonfiction St. Martin's Press
Book Review

Inside the Crips (2005)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Aug 01, 2005; Writers: Ann Pearlman, Cotton Simpson; Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction; Publisher: St. Martin's Press

There once was a time when the terrorist threat against America came from within, when L.A. street gangs were one of law enforcement's top priorities. Cotton Simpson, who says he's the son of an absent major-league baseball player and an abusive mother, chronicles a good chunk of that time in his arresting memoir, Inside the Crips (authored with Ann Pearlman). In search of family bonds, Simpson joined the Crips when he was 10 (the year he killed his first man). Within five years, he was sentenced to the first of several stints in jail. The book's most revealing passages recount his 12 years in prison, when (he claims) racist guards antagonized inmates as a precursor to beating them. Simpson, now 40, mostly avoids the urge to glamorize his gang years, offering a sometimes boastful but ultimately regretful tale of a life half wasted.

Originally posted Aug 12, 2005 Published in issue #834-835 Aug 19, 2005 Order article reprints
Advertisement

Today's Most Popular

  1. Photo Gallery: American Music Awards 2014 American Music Awards '14: We grade the performances
  2. Photo Gallery: American Music Awards 2014 American Music Awards 2014 style: What the stars wore

From Our Partners