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Now the country’s urban war zone is brought powerfully to life by a rising young literary talent, D. Watkins. The author fought his way up on the eastside (the beastside”) of Baltimore, Maryland or Bodymore, Murderland” as his friends call it. He writes openly and unapologetically about what it took to survive life on the streets, while the casualties piled up around him, including his own brother. Watkins pushed drugs to pay his way through school, staying one step ahead of murderous business rivals and equally predatory lawmen. When black residents of Baltimore finally decided they had had enough after the brutal killing of 25-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custodyWatkins was on the streets when the city erupted. He writes about his bleeding city with the razor-sharp insights of someone who bleeds along with it. Here are true dispatches from the other side of Obama’s America.