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Publisher's Summary

An award-winning journalist’s dramatic account of a shooting that shook a community to its core, with important implications for the future

On the last Friday evening of the summer of 2013, five shots rang out in the parking lot of a new Boys & Girls Club in a part of northeast Denver known as the Holly. Long a destination for African American families fleeing the Jim Crow South, the Holly had become an “invisible city” within a historically white metropolis. While shootings weren’t uncommon, the identity of the shooter that night came as a shock. Terrance Roberts was a revered activist. His attempts to bring peace to his community had won the accolades of both his neighbors and the state’s most important power brokers. Why had he just fired a gun?

In The Holly, the award-winning journalist Julian Rubinstein, who grew up in Denver, reconstructs the events leading up to the fateful confrontation that left a local gang member paralyzed and Terrance Roberts on trial, facing a life in prison. Much more than the story of a shooting, The Holly is a multigenerational crime story that explores the porous boundaries between a city’s elites and its most disadvantaged citizens, as well as the fraught interactions of police, confidential informants, activists, gang members, and ex-gang members trying - or not - to put their pasts behind them. It shows how well-intentioned urban renewal may hasten gentrification, and what happens when overzealous policing collides with gang members who conceive of themselves as defenders, however imperfect, of a neighborhood.

In the era of Black Lives Matter and urgent debates about the future of policing, Rubinstein offers a nuanced and humane illumination of what’s at stake.

A Macmillan Audio production from Farrar, Straus and Giroux

©2021 Julian Rubinstein (P)2021 Macmillan Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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................maybe for woke people?

first let me praise larry herron as a fine actor and narrator. I will get a copy of THE SAY HEY KID about my childhood hero willie mays

as for the book the authors political slants are pretty obvious to me. i listened to most of the book but..............

I JUST CAN'T HANDLE WOKE ANYMORE

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Powerful testament and historical account

This powerful piece of journalism sheds light into one of America’s most under reported public health challenges: “The urban industrial war complex” this book Chronicles the history of social, racial, and economic oppression and it’s resulting outcropping of trauma seen in today’s policing strategy and gang violence plaguing urban communities.

Now more than ever we are faced with a period of time where this information coming to light details a much larger national issue mirrored in the story of the historic Northeast Park Hill neighborhood in Denver Colorado. As a Denver native I appreciate the accuracies and detail that went into the research of this book and see that this story is just one example of how the incestuous relationship between the federal government, policing strategies and surveillance strategies has led to the widespread and unethical employment of criminal informants and perpetuated generations of trauma in all urban black and brown neighborhoods alike

Anyone interested in learning about the undercurrent of urban trauma needs to read this book

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Well done, Mr Rubinstein!

I must commend the author for a finely researched and informative book. As a white Denver musician, I have played “Keep The Peace” rallies and other events at the Holly many times, as well as The Kasbah nightclub, I know several of the characters in this book. What Mr Rubinstein reports here was eye opening to me on several levels, and knowing how difficult—and potentially dangerous—it is to get the brothers to open up to a white man about anything, let alone gang-related activity, is testimony to Mr. Rubinstein’s tenacity and authenticity. This is important and under-reported work. Denver media says little about gang violence and, when they do report, it tends to be from the police’s perspective. I’ve often wondered why shootings/murders in E Denver and Aurora I hear about on the street are suspiciously absent from the local news. Read this book and you may have a few questions yourself...

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Such a great story!

Julian did a great job with telling a very complicated, but needed narrative about what happened to Terrance Roberts because of him standing his ground with aggressive police, developers, media, and gangsters all wanting to call the shots, in a community not their own. This could of happened to anyone in his shoes, doing the work he was doing. Also, Larry did a great job with the narration of the book! I pray we have more to come!

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Illuminating!

Excellent! This book delivers the history and big and small picture of gang violence and police. A must read.

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Powerful Journalism Daylights Invisible War

It starts with a bang and the gunshot rings in your ears. What begins as a story of Terrance Robert’s life and Denver ultimately becomes a deeper untangling of the struggles in our larger society. Intertwined with a rich history of Denver, Black history, community, gang violence, policing and policy, this book ultimately unveils battles being waged on multiple fronts that are largely invisible and need to be seen. Buckle up!

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Absolutely loved it!!

I didn't realize that I would be so familiar with the people mentioned and various incidents in the book. The Narrator's kept my interest and I hated that the book ended.