Our Guys: The Glen Ridge Rape and the Secret Life of the Perfect Suburb

Front Cover
University of California Press, Jul 11, 1997 - Social Science - 428 pages
1 Review
It was a crime that captured national attention. In the idyllic suburb of Glen Ridge, New Jersey, four of the town's most popular high school athletes were accused of raping a retarded young woman while nine of their teammates watched. Everyone was riveted by the question: What went wrong in this seemingly flawless American town? In search of the answer, Bernard Lefkowitz takes the reader behind Glen Ridge's manicured facade into the shadowy basement that was the scene of the rape, into the mansions on "Millionaire's Row," into the All-American high school, and finally into the courtroom where justice itself was on trial.

Lefkowitz's sweeping narrative, informed by more than 200 interviews and six years of research, recreates a murky adolescent world that parents didn't—or wouldn't—see: a high school dominated by a band of predatory athletes; a teenage culture where girls were frequently abused and humiliated at sybaritic and destructive parties, and a town that continued to embrace its celebrity athletes—despite the havoc they created—as "our guys." But that was not only true of Glen Ridge; Lefkowitz found that the unqualified adulation the athletes received in their town was echoed in communities throughout the nation. Glen Ridge was not an aberration. The clash of cultures and values that divided Glen Ridge, Lefkowitz writes, still divides the country.

Parents, teachers, and anyone concerned with how children are raised, how their characters are formed, how boys and girls learn to treat each other, will want to read this important book.

What people are saying - Write a review

Our guys: the Glen Ridge rape and the secret life of the perfect suburb

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Curiosity, says journalist Lefkowitz (Tough Change: Growing Up on Your Own in America, Free Pr., 1987), brought him to investigate the web of circumstances contributing to the 1989 alleged gang rape ... Read full review

Selected pages


The Basement
AllAmerican Guys
Accusation and Denial
Justice and Injustice
Moral Judgments
Research Methods

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 5 - Ridge kids, they were pure gold, every mother's dream, every father's pride. They were not only Glen Ridge's finest, but in their perfection they belonged to all of us. They were Our Guys

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1997)

Bernard Lefkowitz, an Edgar award-winning author, has written three earlier books on social issues, including Tough Change: Growing Up on Your Own in America (1987). He teaches journalism at Columbia University.

Bibliographic information