By age twelve, Luis Rodriguez was a veteran of East L.A. gang warfare. Lured by a seemingly invincible gang culture, he witnessed countless shootings, beatings, and arrests, then watched with increasing fear as that culture claimed friends and family members. Before long, Rodriguez saw a way out of the barrio through education and successfully broke free from years of violence and desperation. Achieving success as an award-winning poet, he was sure the streets would haunt him no more - until his son joined a gang. Rodriguez fought for his child by telling his own story in this vivid memoir. At times heartbreakingly sad and brutal, Always Running is ultimately an uplifting true story, filled with hope, insight, and a hard-learned lesson for the next generation.
"Rodriguez's account of his coming of age is vivid, raw...Here's truth no television set, burning night and day, could ever begin to offer." - The New York Times Book Review
"Every spiky anecdote from a life of guns, razors, uppers, downers, glue, heroin, sex, and early death supports this former gang member's view of the violence as collective suicide. That Rodriguez's memoir takes place...before the '92 L.A. riots only makes this beautifully written and politically astute account more compelling." - Entertainment Weekly
"Luis J. Rodriguez gives voice to a unique American experience...compelling...[a] fascinating, brutal and ultimately triumphant chronicle." - The Philadelphia Tribune
"Extraordinarily haunting and evocative." - The Washington Post Book World
"An absolutely unique work: richly literary and poetic, yet urgent and politically explosive at the same time...A permanent testament to human courage and transcendence." - Jonathan Kozol, author of Savage Inequalities