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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (14,625 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Wilkerson Narrator: Raymond Todd Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2007 ISBN: 9781455178681
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Gangfighters, drug addicts, teenage runaways, and prostitutes—the toughest and most hopeless kids that New York’s ghettos had to offer. That is, until a country preacher from the Pennsylvania hills arrived on their turf and began preaching a streetcorner message of renewal, miracles, and God’s love.

David Wilkerson, a man on a mission, stepped onto some of the world’s most dangerous streets armed only with the simple message of God’s love and the promise of the Holy Spirit’s power. And that’s when the miracles began to happen.

Led by incredible faith, Wilkerson left his country pulpit in 1958 for the streets of New York City, where a murder trial of seven teenaged boys churned society’s antipathy toward them. Even Wilkerson was bewildered by his sense of compassion, but in spite of doubt, he followed the Spirit’s prompting to help the boys. This is the amazing story of his journey, and the ability of God to accomplish the impossible. One of the most inspiring and challenging true stories of all time, it has sold millions of copies throughout the world and has been made into a feature film.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 2/9/2014

    " This was my first read of 2012, fantastic book about the street gangs of new york and one paricular gang leader who finds faith in God and changes his ways. Nicky Cruz ( is that leader) now know by many as a christian who has spent many years working with teenagers, helping them too to find a faith in God that can chenge there lives. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dane Nelson | 2/3/2014

    " A story that changes lives. It touches the heart of any hardened criminal. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renea | 1/24/2014

    " i love this book !!!!!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Grace Lacca | 1/22/2014

    " One of the first books I heard about when I became a Christian. Had a profound effect on me. I was deeply saddened by the recent passing of David Wilkerson. He was mightly used of God. May he rest in peace. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cristian | 1/21/2014

    " This book, I would probably recomend to anyone who is religious and is into God a lot.This book is about a girl named Elizabeth who goes to New York to spead the word of God to the most hopless kids. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynda Newman | 1/11/2014

    " I read this a few times as a teen,made a real impression on me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane Caruana | 1/5/2014

    " A very moving book, I cried many times through this storey and found it just as intense as when I first read it as a child. I Would love to read the sequel - which isn't yet available on Kindle so I guess I'll have to wait. Even more poignant is the fact that David Wilkerson died earlier this year - this world needs more men like him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lindsey | 12/24/2013

    " As A teenchallenge grad myself this book was on my read list. I really enjoyed hearing the impact of christ onto the hearts of these troubled gangster youth whos lives were incompased with poverty violence and drugs. There is no limit to the power of God. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Luisbatiz | 12/23/2013

    " This is an amazing book that must be read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly Gordon | 12/22/2013

    " The Cross and the Switchblade is a true story about a pastor named David Wilkerson. Wilkerson comes upon a story about seven boys who murdered a fifteen-year-old boy. He then decides to visit these boys in jail to talk with them. He is then denied the right to talk these boys. After this incident Wilkerson decides to commit his life to help drug addicts, gang members, alcoholics, and other people who are in bad situations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Reni Karimpineth | 12/22/2013

    " Amazing book! Gives you great insight on the true power of God given through his holy spirit. It shows you that ha can break any curse, disease, addiction and so forth! Great book for a young Christian and for non-Christians as well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 12/22/2013

    " This book is about David Wilkerson's journey to NYC and his encounters with the young gang members there. One of the main guys in the book is Nicky Cruz, who wrote the book One Holy Fire then. It's a good book and gives a good background if you are going to read Nicky's book then. I liked it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Krupal | 12/20/2013

    " a beauty...its a must read to strengthen your faith or to experience the power of God in your life "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathy | 12/19/2013

    " PA country paster drawn to help NYC gang kids "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 B. | 12/15/2013

    " A bit boring, mostly a laundry list type of writing on how to set up programs for street gang troubled kids. Old fashioned context too. Not the book I remembered. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jacky | 12/14/2013

    " Interesting and captivating true story of Pastor David Wilkerson going into the real world sharing about the love of Jesus. Should be more like this. Inspirational and thought provoking and very real! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emma | 12/10/2013

    " This book captivates me with its honesty. I felt the end could have been wrapped up a better way, but the courage and perseverance of Davie was truly inspiring. A must read, and I would read it again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charity U | 12/9/2013

    " Wow...moving book! Definitely a recommended read. It's about gang evangelism, I guess you'd say! Adult (or at least mid-teen) material. Non-fiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauren | 11/20/2013

    " I have read this book several times, and it never ceases to move me. The things that God can accomplish with just one man...it's incredible. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dane Nelson | 11/18/2013

    " A story that changes lives. It touches the heart of any hardened criminal. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rick | 11/6/2013

    " This one influenced so many others, it is on my top 40 list for sure. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christy Corwine-dunning | 11/1/2013

    " Truly amazing walk of faith and obedience! This story and this man has changed my life and my ministry! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joanne | 10/30/2013

    " David Wilkerson takes himself into the gangs of New York to bring the young people Christianity and a better way of life during the late 1950's and early 1960's. Not sure how his techniques would work on the streets of 2009! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 10/24/2013

    " Wonderful book for everyone to read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Verna Humphrey | 10/23/2013

    " Good book all about the street gangs,and the slums. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ioana | 10/6/2013

    " ...you should always listend God call...and you should always live your life for God ...whatever risc involves ...because your life is nothing if God is not present in it.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vicki | 8/19/2013

    " Was still a youth when this book came out. Enjoyed it then and they made it unto a movie which really added a lot to the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruben | 8/9/2013

    " A good book to read, suit un-christians or unsaved people. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bethany Carr | 3/31/2013

    " One of my most favorite books ever! Real people that God really used and moved for and through. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abby | 2/18/2013

    " The best! And its true! David Wilkerson is a great author and his story is compelling, heartwrenching, and charming all at once! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rina Oelofse | 10/30/2012

    " The one book I've read several times. Inspiring story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 10/16/2012

    " This is a great true story of a man's love for gangs in New York. It's a must read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Grace Lacca | 8/31/2012

    " One of the first books I heard about when I became a Christian. Had a profound effect on me. I was deeply saddened by the recent passing of David Wilkerson. He was mightly used of God. May he rest in peace. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Terry Putthoff | 8/18/2012

    " True story. The struggle and the victory in the end. Great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caleb | 5/22/2012

    " This an amazing book. It really makes me gratfull for the friends and family that i have. David is an amazing guy and truly wants to serve the lord. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joan | 1/22/2012

    " A very inspirational telling of David Wilkerson's journey from country preacher to the founding of Teen Challege in New York city amongst the toughest gangs in New York. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzanne | 1/2/2012

    " This is my first christian book. Amazing testimony of a man whom God called, pursued, soften his heart and changed his life forever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Havens | 12/30/2011

    " I enjoyed this book but I can see it might be hard to believe all the things that happened, especially for a non-believer. But the great work that Wilkerson did for the Lord and his faith in pursuing God's call for him is remarkable. A great testimony. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renea | 11/27/2011

    " i love this book !!!!!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 11/4/2011

    " This book is about David Wilkerson's journey to NYC and his encounters with the young gang members there. One of the main guys in the book is Nicky Cruz, who wrote the book One Holy Fire then. It's a good book and gives a good background if you are going to read Nicky's book then. I liked it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joy | 10/19/2011

    " A great true story of gangs and God. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Henna-maija | 9/17/2011

    " book was ok. readin davids side what went down when famous gang leader found God. well written and spirt-lifting book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Evelyn Richesin | 9/16/2011

    " I read this in my 20's. It was so eyeopening for me. It is so important for complaisant Christians in a comfortable life to read this kind of thing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 7/29/2011

    " I read this as a teenager and it was beyond my scope of experience, therefore it loomed large and at times a bit overwhelming. I was amazed at how the Lord worked in many lives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dk | 7/9/2011

    " being sensitive to Holy spirit.... make really wonders in another`s live "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elaine | 6/1/2011

    " Read this years ago.....it still stays with me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Henna-maija | 6/1/2011

    " book was ok. readin davids side what went down when famous gang leader found God. well written and spirt-lifting book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauren | 5/24/2011

    " I have read this book several times, and it never ceases to move me. The things that God can accomplish with just one man...it's incredible. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 5/12/2011

    " I read this book when I saw on facebook that my friend's pastor died - he happened to be David Wilkerson. I thought the book was excellent and I loved seeing how God provided. I am also overwhelmed by the gang fighting and drug use of the 1950s/1960s. I somehow thought life was more gentle then. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 5/7/2011

    " I read this book a very long time ago. It was a good read and still is today. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Grace | 5/4/2011

    " One of the first books I heard about when I became a Christian. Had a profound effect on me. I was deeply saddened by the recent passing of David Wilkerson. He was mightly used of God. May he rest in peace. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonimarie | 4/7/2011

    " I both read and watched the movie for this one. It is hardcore and it was sad but its a reality in the big cities and ghetto places. I really really appreciated this book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherilyn | 2/6/2011

    " I love this true and inspiring story of faith and true Christian love. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chrismpadgett | 1/6/2011

    " I loved this book. Read it when I was young and vividly remember seeing the movie with Erik Estrada. I've been to Wilkerson's church a couple times on Times Square. He is a interesting man, with little love in his heart for the Catholic Church. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rina | 12/24/2010

    " The one book I've read several times. Inspiring story. "

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About the Author

David Wilkerson (1931–2011) was an Assembly of God pastor who established Teen Challenge, an organization centered around the needs of converts of his successful street evangelism ministry in New York City. As part of Teen Challenge, he also established the Bible Institute, which evolved into the international organization known as World Challenge. David also cofounded Times Square church in New York City. Of his many books, perhaps the most influential has been The Cross and the Switchblade, which sparked interest about baptism in the Holy Spirit from both Protestant and Catholic circles.

About the Narrator

Raymond Todd is an actor and director in the theater as well as a poet and documentary filmmaker. He plays jazz trombone for the Leatherstocking quartet, an ensemble that gets its name from one of his favorite Blackstone narrations, The Deerslayer. Todd lives in New York.