One Blood
John Heale

One Blood

   The riots of 2011 brought into stark focus the increasing lawlessness and desperation among Britain's disadvantaged young people. Against this background Britain's gangs have changed radically over the past 15 years, becoming more aggressive, more territorial -- and younger. Seemingly senseless 'postcode wars' and feuds over trivial issues are claiming the lives of scores of young men every year, and knife crime and gun crime amongst young people have become commonplace in Britain's cities. The fallout affects every community. One Blood - originally published in 2008 - explains many of the reasons behind the shocking events of summer 2011. This new edition has been brought up to date with new material that analyses the riots. The author has talked to dozens of gang members from high-ranking to low, and every chapter is based on first-hand testimonies of their day-to-day reality, laying the groundwork for a comprehensive analysis of what gang life does to society and to individuals. With a strong narrative that travels the country from London to Liverpool and beyond, One Blood provides a terrifying account of what life is like for those who belong to a gang. It also investigates how the authorities are attempting to combat the problem, and analyses the social evils of which gang life is a symptom, not a cause. Fearless, uncompromising and compulsively readable, this explosive book is an abiding portrait of an unfortunate section of British society, how it ended up this way, and what can be done to help it.

Book Details:

  • Author: John Heale
  • Published Year: 2012
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Simon & Schuster
John Heale

John Heale

John Heale is an investigative journalist who has worked for several national newspapers, and in factual television. He lives in London.
More about John Heale

Book Reviews

  • "..a sober look at the causes of many of last year's knife murders...”"
    Daily Telegraph
  • "...a genuinely new perspective on Britain's 'gang problem'"
    Times Literary Supplement
  • "timely, vividly written, absorbing book"
  • "His investigation couldn't be more timely or urgent, though whether its findings will galvanise or merely depress its readers is another question."
    Daily Telegraph
  • "Heale's style is to weave sociological analysis with the first-hand testimonies of gang members in their own words. Thus the book's triumph is the authenticity that runs through every page, the sense that we are up close with the reality of gang life beyond the headlines - its casual violence, petty dramas and often mind-numbing banality."
  • "The question is, is this a good book. No. It's a brilliant book."
    Evening Standard
  • "One of the strengths of Heale's book is that it is carefully calculated not to be shocking. He talks to many gang members and former members, but is never voyeuristic. He scrupulously avoids what the academic Dominic White refers to as "the journey into the spectacle and carnival of crime". It is a welcome relief from the majority of journalistic coverage, which seems only interested in angelic victims and evil perpetrators"
  • "Heale never sensationalises, judges or empathises. Rather, he coolly and authoritatively exposes a social underclass which, having given up dreaming of something better, no longer much cares whether it lives or dies"