cover image The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption

The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption

Rodney King, with Lawrence J. Spagnola. HarperOne, $25.99 (245p) ISBN 978-0-06-219443-5

In this tell-all memoir, Rodney King lays bare his troubled life. He describes a childhood dominated by fear of his violent, alcoholic father, but quickly fast-forwards to the event that changed his life and thousands of others. On March 3, 1991, King was pulled over after being chased by police for speeding. His blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit, but rather than merely cuffing King, four LAPD officers administered a brutal and sustained beating, the video and repercussions of which would rock Los Angeles and make national headlines. A year later, after the policemen were acquitted, riots broke out in L.A. that would result in over 50 dead, thousands injured, and over a billion dollars in damages. King and Spagnola (My Appetite for Destruction) go on to detail the grueling and prolonged legal battles (a civil rights trial would result in two of the officers doing time in prison), his struggle with alcoholism, and continuing run-ins with the law. Though King admits that "the riot within%E2%80%A6 has not been purged," he ends on a note of hope that rings in harmony with his plea made years ago to end the L.A. riots%E2%80%94as he writes in the book, "Can we all get along? Maybe one day." Though by no means groundbreaking, King's take on his own story is nevertheless an interesting read. Photos. (Apr.)