The Veteranos of East LA

By LARB Radio HourApril 26, 2024

The Veteranos of East LA
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Scholar Randol Contreras joins Kate Wolf and Eric Newman to discuss his new book The Marvelous Ones: Drugs, Gang Violence, and Resistance in East Los Angeles. The book is a study of the history and present lives of veterans of the legendary Maravilla gang that long dominated the scene in East Los Angeles before a bitter rivalry with the La Eme during the 1990s and early 2000s that had Maravillas scrambling for their lives in the streets and in prison. Though centered around the experience of that epic gang rivalry, The Marvelous Ones is also an examination of how masculinity, race, and cultural identity are shaped and reshaped within the context of organized crime inside state institutions and in the everyday lives of those living in Los Angeles. It is also a story about what it means to matter and to be remembered as a man, as a husband, as a father, and as a Maravilla amid the roiling waters of political, social, and historical change.

Also, poet Victoria Chang, whose latest collection is With My Back to the World, returns to recommend an anthology of poetry entitled You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World, edited by the current Poet Laureate of the United States, Ada Limon.

LARB Contributor

The LARB Radio Hour is hosted by Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher, and Kate Wolf.


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