Book Review: Bleeding out: The devastating consequences of urban violence—and a bold new plan for peace in the streets

AuthorShelly Nightengale
Published date01 September 2022
DOI10.1177/07340168211012037
Date01 September 2022
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Englewood neighborhood in Chicago, the author tests the connection of violence and its impact on a
youths mental and physical health, aggressive behavior, school success, peer relationships, drug use,
and risky sexual behaviors. Based on ndings from nine other studies, the author posited the level of
violence affected the mental and physical health of youths faced with violence than those who are not
exposed to. Similarly, with mental and physical health, the author found youths exposed to violence
reported high aggressive behavior, low school success rate, high drug use, and exposure to risky
sexual behaviors when compared to those who are not exposed to violence.
In Section 2, Chapter 6, the author relates how violence and sex are entangled. Using four focus group
interviews which comprised of 54 parental gures, Voisin examines the opinions of these gures whose
children have been direct or indirect victims of violence. The parental gures believed that neighborhood
violence had an impact on the youthsinuence for engaging in sexual activities, shaped the sexual iden-
tities of the youths, and gangs had an impact on the youthssexual interaction. In Chapter 7, the author
discusses ndings for coping with violence in Woodlawn which is a low income and racially segregated
neighborhood. A qualitative study with 32 Black students examined how these individuals cope with vio-
lence. The author found that these youths cope by avoiding certain places and employing self-defense
techniques. In the last section, in Chapter 8, the author presents policy implications and the inclusion
of evidence-based programs in solving neighborhood violence. Voisin concludes in Chapter 9 with out-
reach programs that have been implemented by the city and University of Chicago alongside community
partnerships. Voisin posits the need for policies and macrolevel interventions that are focused on prevent-
ing neighborhood violence in Black communities in Chicago.
Overall, the book is informative on the reality of violence in Black neighborhood specically in
South Side Chicago and the negative effects on families. While there are limitations to the data uti-
lized in this project due to bias and the authors positionality with race. This book is ideal for prac-
titioners and researchers who intend to learn and study violence in Black communities.
Abt, T. (2019). Bleeding out: The devastating consequences of urban violenceand a bold new plan for peace in the
streets. Basic Books. 310 pp. $30.00. ISBN 9781541645721.
Reviewed by: Shelly Nightengale, University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL, USA
DOI: 10.1177/07340168211012037
In Bleeding Out, Thomas Abt conveys a clear sense of urgency about urban violence through met-
aphor, a man has been shot in his leg and is on a hospital gurney. Abt weaves this story throughout his
book by establishing principles on what should be addressed immediately with urban violence to stop
the bleedingmetaphorically with the mans leg and literally in society. Abts expertise comes from
his background as a government ofcial specializing in evidence-based approaches to reducing crime
in urban areas. He currently serves as a lecturer and researcher at the Harvard Kennedy School of
Government.
Abt denes urban violenceas lethal killings primarily related to gun violence, which excludes
sexual violence or violence between intimate partners or family members(p. 6). He says if com-
munities can focus on urban violence, there will be a trickle-down effect in reducing challenges with
poverty, nonviolent crimes, and education. In addition, Abt declares that unless urban violence is
addressed rst and urgently, then other wounds(i.e., poverty) will only deepen and become
more threatening. Providing impetus to the conversation, Bleeding Out begins with explaining the
problem of urban violence. The book follows with treatment strategies for urban violence and con-
cludes by providing the readers with actionable steps on moving the discussion forward. Abt presents
Book Reviews 407

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