Our Guys: The Glen Ridge Rape and the Secret Life of the Perfect Suburb

Bernard Lefkowitz

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Our Guys: The Glen Ridge Rape and the Secret Life of the Perfect Suburb

Our Guys The Glen Ridge Rape and the Secret Life of the Perfect Suburb In March a group of teenage boys lured a retarded girl into a basement in Glen Ridge New Jersey and gang raped her Glen Ridge was the kind of peaceful affluent suburb many Americans dream abou

  • Title: Our Guys: The Glen Ridge Rape and the Secret Life of the Perfect Suburb
  • Author: Bernard Lefkowitz
  • ISBN: 9780375702693
  • Page: 308
  • Format: Paperback
  • In March 1989 a group of teenage boys lured a retarded girl into a basement in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, and gang raped her Glen Ridge was the kind of peaceful, affluent suburb many Americans dream about The rapists were its most popular high school athletes And although rumors of the crime quickly spread through the town, weeks passed before anyone saw fit to report it tIn March 1989 a group of teenage boys lured a retarded girl into a basement in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, and gang raped her Glen Ridge was the kind of peaceful, affluent suburb many Americans dream about The rapists were its most popular high school athletes And although rumors of the crime quickly spread through the town, weeks passed before anyone saw fit to report it to the police What made these boys capable of brutalizing a girl that some of them had known since childhood Why did so many of their elders deny the rape and rally around its perpetrators To solve this riddle, the Edgar award winning author Bernard Lefkowitz conducted years of research and than two hundred interviews The result is not just a wrenching story of crime and punishment, but a hauntingly nuanced portrait of America s jock culture and the hidden world of unrestrained adolescent sexuality.

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      Published :2018-04-20T22:07:33+00:00

    One thought on “Our Guys: The Glen Ridge Rape and the Secret Life of the Perfect Suburb

    1. Mischenko on said:

      See this @ readrantrockandrollI had to read this book for a college sociology class and I had zero expectations in enjoying the book given the content of it. It's true that it's difficult to read at times, but the writing pulled me in and I had to know what was going to happen to the group of people responsible. What's no surprise to me, even after reading this years ago, is that this behavior is still relevant today. There are people willing to overlook their child's behavior and they'll do wha [...]

    2. Michael on said:

      I just wrote some comments on the book Until Proven Innocent, which was about the Duke lacrosse fiasco. In that case, a community engaging in class warfare, law enforcement, and the media all conspired to blame the accused, long after obvious contradictions had arisen.Our Guys is kind of the flip side to that nightmare (but is essentially the same nightmare). Here the community blamed the victim and rallied around the accused, long after the damning facts came out and these athletes' mythology h [...]

    3. Carla JFCL on said:

      A statement on page 491 of this book pretty much says it all: " through her (the girl who was raped) life it appeared that the values of the community around her; the community she grew up in, had not progressed beyond those of a high school pep rally." And that's pretty much what the town of Glen Ridge, New Jersey, feels like while reading this book: a town that, adults included, lived through and for its high school athletes (boys only, of course), protected them at all costs, and believed th [...]

    4. Jon on said:

      I was assigned to read this book in a college class on gender, and it fit the "you-can't-put-it-down" category better than any other I can think of. I agree with critics that Lefkowitz lets too much of his bias into the already compelling story. But he does an excellent job providing background of the incident: history, culture, specific people.Having recently suffered high school, much in this book didn't surprise me. A reviewer from Glen Ridge gave interesting comments (I lived in the area at [...]

    5. Chris on said:

      Most compelling reason for why we should change the way we look at sport players. Sad thing is, nothing has really changed since this book came out.

    6. ♥ Marlene♥ on said:

      This was a very interesting well researched book about a case I did not know anything about. It happened quite a long time ago, and it is about a group of popular high school students, who were footballers and because of that (and other sports) they were admired (even though they were not even that good at it) who raped a mentally retarded girl and instead of being ridiculed by the community where they lived, they were all blaming the victim. It is mostly about how in America at schools, sports [...]

    7. Dan Sharber on said:

      phenomenal book. if you want to understand what happened in stubenville ohio the read this book. it is a scathing indictment of the toxic american culture that breeds victimizers and rapists. this book is clear that there are no bad apples but a corrosive environment that encourages the strong and affluent to pick on the weak and especially female. it's a jockocracy of misogyny. and it started before these boys lured their victim into the basement and raped her and is clearly still occurring tod [...]

    8. Caitlin on said:

      This book could have been sensationalist & pedestrian given the subject matter &, frankly, the tendencies of most True Crime writers (pump out that book quick before the media blitz stops). I would imagine that when you are writing about something like the gang rape of a retarded teenager by a group of suburban athletes, many of whom had known her since childhood, it would be very easy to write something slick & prurient. Mr. Lefkowitz manages to avoid that.Mr. Lefkowitz spent 7 year [...]

    9. LB Klein on said:

      This is a painfully detailed read but an important one that provides an in depth analysis of a gang rape of a girl who has mental retardation in Glen Ridge. It provides insight into why and how cultures perpetuate sexual violence so that we can hopefully learn to do better.

    10. stacy on said:

      I read this book--every heartbreaking word--years ago, but in light of the recent Texas event (one we've all come to hear about among the many we have not), I'm passing the book along to friends and plan to read it again.Who was it who said, "History repeats itself"? When do we learn

    11. Nel on said:

      Even though this covers a difficult subject, every teacher, coach, principal and parent should be required to read this book.

    12. Joe on said:

      This book describes the facts of how a group of suburban teenage boys attacked and raped a retarded girl, and covers the subsequent trial. But Lefkowitz goes far beyond that: he describes the childhood of the people involved, the environment of the school and town, and the reaction of the people in town and beyond. He tells of how the attackers started with small examples of inappropriate behavior when they were younger, but were never punished for it -- how they were given passes time and again [...]

    13. Alexis U on said:

      I had to read this for a sociology class. It was a doozy.The story was incredible. Incredibly fucked up. Whatever. It was so difficult to read at times, because I could draw such distinct parallels to my own small-town. I was to the point of losing sleep over this book.At times, though, it became a little redundant. There was a bit too much historical knowledge, and I've seen in other reviews that the author does show his bias, and he does, quite often. Which is not to say that what these boys d [...]

    14. Ang on said:

      I don't know what star rating to give this book. I hate saying it's worth three or four or five stars, because of how horrible it's going to make you feel. It's going to leave a really ugly, really horrible taste in your mouth. So many things are wrong with what happened in Glen Ridge, but I want to just say: a town that would let a school IGNORE a boy MASTURBATING openly in class has something so wrong with it that it's surprising more crimes weren't committed there. You know what? Scratch that [...]

    15. notRahimeanymore on said:

      It's almost painful to rate this 5 stars, because it was so disturbing, but I think it earns it. This was an absolutely enraging book. If you want to be reminded that there are whole clusters of people in society with no moral values whatsoever (one of the dads of a defendant at one point basically says that raping a mentally retarded girl with a bat is something any 16-year-old would do - what?! And some of the lawyers of the defendants are real pieces of work too) then this is the book to read [...]

    16. Myra on said:

      I read this book for a sociology class for college. I thought this book could have been written with half the pages. It was so slow and full of way too much details. Too much background, too many people in the book with not much to add to the main idea. It was a long slow painful dragged out book. The idea if the book is that the town is messed up because they supported the athletic boys who raped the mentally retarded young women with a broom, stick & baseball bat as well as orally. But the [...]

    17. Megan on said:

      i read this for a juvenile delinquency class and it was disturbing.

    18. Todd on said:

      While slightly dated now, a devastating account of the sexual assault of a mentally challenged teenager by a group of 'jocks' in a wealthy NJ suburb. It is hard not to get angry at all parts of this book - the crime, the investigation and the trial - as supposedly decent people wanted to condone the act and behaviour of "our guys" who were nothing more than rapists/sadists. An important read if for no other reason than it supports the adage that those who cannot remember the past are condemned t [...]

    19. BRNTerri on said:

      Very good and well-researched, too much so at times when it came to details about the town's history. View images from inside the book here, imgur/a/i3UBGMuch more detailed review here.

    20. Kim on said:

      Despicable but true story of the sexual abuse of a young mentally challenged girl - I'm embarrassed to admit I grew up nearby. The thought of these over-priveledged, spoiled, upper-class white boys taking advantage of her -- first in the original incident, then again during the trial makes my head spin.

    21. Benjamin Hill on said:

      Entirely too much back-story was given that I felt wasn't important. Perhaps more importantly, I think I'm interested in issues overall rather than specific instances. Although I do feel it can work if they expand on the issue towards the end of the story.

    22. Lori Lamb on said:

      I think this book is well researched and well written. It was difficult to read due to the inherent subject matter. This is the only reason I gave it only 3 stars.

    23. Kathryn Prouse on said:

      A tentative 5 stars.ly because if the author used the word "youngsters" one more time, I was ready to throw the book across the room.

    24. Westchester on said:

      It can be a slow read at times but the story is disturbing and fascinating. I don't think it's the best written book I've ever read, far from it. But the account has held my interest so far. I can totally believe the life these teenagers led. I wonder if life in these small towns has really changed that much since then. One thing I find dumbfounding. I'm on page 252 and the parents of the victim are being told the details of what happened. Her mother says, "One day we may not be around. Leslie i [...]

    25. Jess on said:

      This book infuriated me. I felt that the writing was long-winded and the author was blatantly following the style of "yellow journalism" - he focused so much on the emotional factors of the story, rather than focusing on the different versions of the story, that even though I rationally agreed with the conviction of rape, I felt that my emotional persuasions were being manipulated in that direction. Overall, it led to a very confusing version of events that seemed really muddled. There are many [...]

    26. Lara Tambellini on said:

      This was a very well written book. It was a crime that captured national attention. In the idyllic suburb of Glen Ridge, New Jersey, four of the town's most popular high school athletes were accused of raping a retarded young woman while nine of their teammates watched. Everyone was riveted by the question: What went wrong in this seemingly flawless American town? In search of the answer, Bernard Lefkowitz takes the reader behind Glen Ridge's manicured facade into the shadowy basement that was t [...]

    27. Francesca on said:

      Read for school, it was a decent book. The events were very interesting there were just a few places in the book however where I fell asleep reading though (not just because I was tired).

    28. Jodi on said:

      I was so mad at the people in this town for not seeing that the young lady in this book was mentally retarded and therefore could not consent to what the boys did to her. If her mentality is that of an 8 year old girl, that is her "age." I have a nephew with Down Syndrome, and although he has the body of a 29 year old man, he has the mental age of about a 4 or 5 year old - therefore he needs be be protected and legally treated as a kindergartner if any one ever hurt him. If Leslie had been menta [...]

    29. Adam on said:

      It's hard to rate this book because no one in their right mind would want to 'like' it. I wish rather that I could rate it with an appreciation level rather than a degree of 'likeness.'As for appreciation, a five star, for sure. This story of Glen Ridge highlights so many ways in which our society falls short. So many ways in which we turn a blind eye to that which we chose not to see. So many ways in which we facilitate that which we wish to deny, or create that which we condemn. Worse yet are [...]

    30. David Ward on said:

      Our Guys: The Glen Ridge Rape and the Secret Life of the Perfect Suburb by Bernard Lefkowitz (U. Cal. Press 1997)(364.1532). This was not the perfect suburb at all. Lower-middle class and blue-collar high school students in the Boston area were totally unsupervised or unconstrained while at school. Particularly shameful was the tolerance shown of the way the “jocks” (both girls and guys) were allowed to bully fellow students (particularly girl students) both in and out of school. This is the [...]

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