In this gripping book, Lefkowitz takes one single eventthe brutal sexual assault on a slightly retarded young woman by several high profile high school athletes in suburban New Jerseyand brings his readers face to face with the smug arrogance of predatory male sexual entitlement. And he does it not with a sweeping analysis but with a novelist's eye for precise detail, a tightly wound tale, elegantly told."Michael Kimmel, author of Manhood in America
"Lefkowitz provides a graphic, faithful account of an amazing caseamazing because of the community's reaction to 'our guys' and the suspiciously drawn-out trial. Its true-crime approach could make Our Guys a bestseller."Peggy Sanday, author of A Woman Scored: Acquaintance Rape on Trial
In 1989, four "jocks" in suburban Glen Ridge, N.J., were accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl whom the school system had classified as "educable mentally retarded." This was no ordinary gang rape. The assault consisted of inserting a broomstick, a baseball bat and another stick into her vagina while nine teammates watched. In this important book, Edgar Award-winner Lefkowitz emphasizes that the event was neither isolated nor spontaneous but merely the most vile and extreme in a career of sexual abuse, sexual harassment and vicious property destruction perpetrated by the admired, pampered clique of athletes as they progressed through Glen Ridge's school system. Readers may have mixed feelings about "Our Guys": How does one react to a well-researched, finely crafted and much needed book that concerns young men behaving in almost unimaginably inhumane ways toward young women? The book has no heroes; only villains, victims and the indifferent populate its pages. In this case, don't blame the messenger. Lefkowitz has done what national publicity and press coverage couldn't. In clear, reasoned prose he unravels the social context necessary for understanding horror in a "perfect suburb." His six years of research and more than 200 interviews support charges of repeated failure by athletes, parents, educators and the criminal justice system. In the end he indicts us all: "If a culture is measured by how it treats its weakest members, the Glen Ridge case, first to last, revealed American culture at its basest."