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

von Bernard Lefkowitz

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286773,724 (4.24)3
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 the scene of the rape, into the mansions on "Millionaire's Row," into the All-American high school, and finally into the courtroom where justice itself was on trial. Lefkowitz's sweeping narrative, informed by more than 200 interviews and six years of research, recreates a murky adolescent world that parents didn't--or wouldn't--see: a high school dominated by a band of predatory athletes; a teenage culture where girls were frequently abused and humiliated at sybaritic and destructive parties, and a town that continued to embrace its celebrity athletes--despite the havoc they created--as "our guys." But that was not only true of Glen Ridge; Lefkowitz found that the unqualified adulation the athletes received in their town was echoed in communities throughout the nation. Glen Ridge was not an aberration. The clash of cultures and values that divided Glen Ridge, Lefkowitz writes, still divides the country. Parents, teachers, and anyone concerned with how children are raised, how their characters are formed, how boys and girls learn to treat each other, will want to read this important book.… (mehr)
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See this @ www.readrantrockandroll.com

I 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 whatever it takes to protect them. In this case, it was an entire community.

They did make this into a lifetime movie which can be seen on YouTube, but the book is way better. The book also contains real pictures of the people involved. I would recommend not even reading the blurb on this one. Just jump in and read it...

5***** ( )
  Mischenko | Nov 30, 2017 |
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 is so big that if you play for the team, you do not have to get as high grades as the other students do. When you play for the school it means (if you are a guy that is) you are automatically admired by the teachers and students. Well that was the case in Glen Ridge and in many other cities. Not sure how it is now but I have a feeling it is still the same.

We do not have that culture. yes we do love sport but students who play sport are being treated the same as the ones that don't. I also blame the parents. This was very hard for me to read and I am an avid true crime reader but I was so shocked by the behaviour of the teachers, the community, the fellow students and the parents, it made me so angry sometimes.
Would love to know if those rapists had to do jail time. ( )
  Marlene-NL | Apr 12, 2013 |
This is a book mainly about the rape of a mentally retarded girl by popular jocks in the affluent community of Glen Ridge, NJ (where Tom Cruise grew up), but it is so much more than that. It is about the town mentality of the treatment of jocks, high school students, putting the victim on trial, and backing the "popular" crowd. This book was excellent. For anyone who is interested in sociology, and the consequences of rape on an unpopular (and in this case, mentally handicapped) girl in a town that praises and raises their jocks to royal status.

This is a book that should be read by anyone who went to high school, is in high school, or will be in high school. It is extremely informative and diligently researched. I only wish there was an afterward on where the jocks are now. With a little research, you can find out what happened to a number of the crew. This book has had a big impact and every time I pass Glen Ridge and the high school, I think of this book and that poor girl. ( )
  desiree85 | Feb 19, 2011 |
In March of 1989, a group of young men in Glen Ridge, NJ, the town's high school sports heroes, lured a mentally challenged 17-year-old neighbor girl into a basement and sexually assaulted her. The book chronicles the long and painful journey this case took through the legal system from crime to punishment, which was (unbelievably!) 8 years. The author also raises many tough questions with no easy answers about how our society and criminal justice system treat people differently based on their color, economic status, and even their mental capacities. Very well-researched and thought-provoking book. ( )
  CatieN | Aug 15, 2009 |
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 years researching this book, not only interviewing (& re-interviewing) hundreds of people either involved in the case or somehow connected to the town of Glen Ridge, NJ where the crime occurred. He also read most of the literature on rape and on gang rape, in particular, that was in print prior to the book's publication. He obviously has a point of view - he finds this crime shocking, horrible, & unforgivable. Perhaps more importantly, though, he has curiosity. How could this happen in a place like Glen Ridge, NJ?

This is an excellent read, absolutely compelling throughout. ( )
  kraaivrouw | May 7, 2009 |
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Wikipedia auf Englisch (2)

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 the scene of the rape, into the mansions on "Millionaire's Row," into the All-American high school, and finally into the courtroom where justice itself was on trial. Lefkowitz's sweeping narrative, informed by more than 200 interviews and six years of research, recreates a murky adolescent world that parents didn't--or wouldn't--see: a high school dominated by a band of predatory athletes; a teenage culture where girls were frequently abused and humiliated at sybaritic and destructive parties, and a town that continued to embrace its celebrity athletes--despite the havoc they created--as "our guys." But that was not only true of Glen Ridge; Lefkowitz found that the unqualified adulation the athletes received in their town was echoed in communities throughout the nation. Glen Ridge was not an aberration. The clash of cultures and values that divided Glen Ridge, Lefkowitz writes, still divides the country. Parents, teachers, and anyone concerned with how children are raised, how their characters are formed, how boys and girls learn to treat each other, will want to read this important book.

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