Blood in the Fields (Hardcover)
Ten Years Inside California's Nuestra Familia Gang
Chicago Review Press, 9781613749692, 338pp.
Publication Date: September 1, 2014
The city of Salinas, California, is the birthplace of John Steinbeck and the setting for his epic masterpiece East of Eden, but it is also the home of Nuestra Familia, one of the most violent gangs in the United States. Born in the prisons of California in the late 1960s, Nuestra Familia expanded to control drug trafficking and extortion operations throughout the northern half of the state, and left a trail of bodies in its wake. Award-winning journalist Julia Reynolds tells the gang's story from the inside out, following young men and women as they search for a new kind of family, quests that usually lead to murder and betrayal. Blood in the Fields also documents the history of Operation Black Widow, the FBI's questionable decade-long effort to dismantle the Nuestra Familia, along with its compromised informants and the turf wars it created with local law enforcement agencies.Reynolds uses her unprecedented access to gang members, both in and out of prison, as well as undercover wire taps, depositions, and court documents to weave a gripping, comprehensive history of this brutal criminal organization and the lives it destroyed.
About the Author
Julia Reynolds coproduced and wrote the PBS documentary Nuestra Familia, Our Family, and reported on the northern California gang for more than a decade. She currently works as a staff writer at the Monterey County Herald and has reported for National Public Radio, the Discovery Channel, The Nation, Mother Jones, the San Francisco Chronicle, and more.