Download MS-13: The Making of America’s Most Notorious Gang Audiobook

MS-13: The Making of America’s Most Notorious Gang Audiobook, by Steven Dudley Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Steven Dudley Narrator: Christian Barillas Publisher: Harlequin Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2020 ISBN: 9781488207853
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The definitive account of the most dangerous street gang in America—the MS-13—as seen through the lives of one family caught in its malicious web

The MS-13 was born from war. In the 1980s, El Salvador was enmeshed in a bloody fight for control of the government. To escape the guerilla assaults and death squads, many fled to the US and settled in Los Angeles. Among them were Alejandro and his six siblings.

As a survival instinct, they formed a group called the Mara Salvatrucha Stoners, a relatively harmless social network bound by rock and roll. But later, as they brushed against established local gangs, the group took on a harder edge, selling drugs, stealing cars and killing rivals who threatened their territories. As authorities cracked down, gang members like Alejandro were incarcerated and deported. But in the prison system, the group only grew stronger.

Today, MS-13 is one of the most infamous street gangs on earth, with an estimated ten thousand members operating in dozens of states and linked to thousands of grisly murders each year. But it is also misunderstood, a hand-to-mouth organization whose criminal economy is based mostly on small-time extortion schemes and petty drug dealing. Through the story of Alejandro and his family, journalist Steven Dudley brings readers inside the nefarious group, to tell a larger story of flawed US and Central American policy, and the exploitative and unequal economic systems they foster. Ultimately, MS-13 is the story of the modern immigrant and the perennial battle to escape a vortex of poverty and crime. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Through painstaking reporting and clear-eyed analysis…Dudley captures the origins of the gang as a human story of migration and migrant communities…A startling book.”

    Patrick Radden Keefe, New York Times bestselling author

  • “The book benefits greatly from the perspectives of a gang leader, a recruit, the Salvadoran military, and U.S. federal and state agents…and reflects the author’s deep knowledge of the subject, derived from his local reporting and codirection of a government funded three-year study of MS-13 in the United States.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “For anyone who has ever wondered why and how gang members are made, Dudley has the answers.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A cleareyed account of a criminal enterprise that is undeniably a threat to civil society wherever it turns up.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “A remarkable feat of reporting; the ways in which the United States is complicit in the creation and preservation of MS-13 might well keep you awake deep into the night, as it did me.”

    Rachel Louise Snyder, author of No Visible Bruises

  • Winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize

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About the Author

Steven Dudley is the author of MS-13 , winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Award. He is the co-founder of Insight Crime, a think tank devoted to organized crime and corruption in the Americas. As a journalist in Latin America he spent the past two decades writing for the Washington Post, NPR, the BBC, and the Miami Herald. A senior fellow at American University, he is currently co-directing a three-year study funded by the US Justice Department on the MS-13 in El Salvador, Washington DC, and Los Angeles.

About the Narrator

Christian Barillas is an Earphones Award–winning audio narrator and actor based in Los Angeles with credits in theater, film, and television. His professional career began with Center Theater Group’s A Very Old Man with Enourmous Wings, a short story by Gabriel García Márquez. He then appeared in several productions in and around Los Angeles including As You Like It, Sonia Flew, and A Christmas Carol. On television, he is perhaps most recognizable as Ronaldo on Modern Family, where he appears opposite Tony winner and Emmy nominee Nathan Lane.