Crips and Bloods
A Guide to an American Subculture
by Herbert C. Covey
June 2015, 201pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-39929-9
$45, £35, 40€, A62
eBook Available: 978-0-313-39930-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The popularity of gang-related books, television, and music provides ample proof of America’s fascination with the brash and unconventional lifestyle of organized gangs. This comprehensive reference examines the subculture of the Crips and Bloods, detailing the ideas and actions that set it apart from mainstream society, the language and lifestyles that bring unity to its members, and the unmistakable mark each group has made on the nation.

This book provides a concise and engaging examination of the subculture of the Crips and Bloods—the notorious street gangs that started in Los Angeles, but have now spread throughout the United States.

Despite the dangers and harsh realities intrinsic to street life and criminal activity, the no-holds-barred lifestyle of gangs continues to interest mainstream America. This provocative book provides an insider’s look into the subculture of two of the most notorious street gangs—the Crips and the Bloods.

Crips and Bloods: A Guide to an American Subculture traces the evolution of the two gangs, covering their origins in South Central Los Angeles to the organizations’ current presence throughout the United States. The author analyzes the ways in which the gang subculture is created, promoted, and perpetuated; shows how the groups currently recruit their members; and explores the ways Crip and Blood culture has expanded beyond the gangs into the larger mainstream society.


  • Includes a timeline of significant events related to the counterculture
  • Offers a bibliography of print and non-print resources for student research
  • Describes the symbols, objects, words, colors, and images used to represent the gangs
  • Provides a comprehensive glossary of street literacy terms
Herbert C. Covey, PhD, is deputy director of human services for Adams County, Colorado, and part-time instructor at the University of Colorado—Boulder. His published works include What the Slaves Ate: Recollections of the American Foods and Foodways from the Slave Narratives and How the Slaves Saw the Civil War: Recollections of the War through the WPA Slave Narratives (both with Dwight A. Eisnach).
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