Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America

Geoffrey Canada, Author
Geoffrey Canada, Author Beacon Press (MA) $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8070-0422-7
Reviewed on: 05/29/1995
Release date: 06/01/1995
Canada knows the world of inner-city children intimately, for he grew up in some of the most dangerous areas of the Bronx. As a young child, he learned that only those who can fight will survive. When he reached adolescence, the knife was the weapon of choice, but for today's youth, which he calls ``the handgun generation,'' it is the pistol. Canada explains exactly what growing up in this war zone does to the psyche: fear, doubt and anger crowd the mind, driving out love, friendship and laughter. There is no post-traumatic stress syndrome, because there is no ``post.'' Greedy drug dealers and gun manufacturers, he says, by flooding the inner cities with their products, have made urban violence, which always existed, more deadly. He has a series of recommendations, rooted in his own experience as a child and as an adult, that are thoroughly convincing. A more powerful depiction of the tragic life of urban children and a more compelling plea to end ``America's war against itself'' cannot be imagined. 40,000 first printing; author tour. (June)
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