Ben Westhoff - Little Brother LAUNCH EVENT

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - 7:00pm
Wednesday, May 25, 7pm CT
In person at Ethical Society of St. Louis
9001 Clayton Road, St. Louis, MO 63117
Watch virtually at Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page
**Vaccination and masks required for in-person attendance**
Left Bank Books welcomes St. Louis author and journalist
Ben Westhoff,
who will discuss his intimate exploration of race and inequality in America,
Little Brother: Love, Tragedy, and My Search for the Truth,
in person at Ethical Society of St. Louis
and virtually at 7pm CT on May 25th.
This is the LAUNCH EVENT!
Join us in person or on our YouTube or Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
You can request a personalized copy of the book by leaving your request in the order comments.
Ben Westhoff writes about culture, drugs, and poverty. His books are taught nationwide and have been translated around the world. He is the author of Original Gangstas, the definitive history of West Coast hip-hop, and Fentanyl, Inc., the bombshell first book about fentanyl, and now speaks at opioid conferences across the country. He is the Executive Editor of Euclid Media Group and lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with his wife and two children.

This intimate exploration of race and inequality in America tells the story of a journalist's long-time relationship with his mentee, Jorell Cleveland, through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and investigates Jorell's tragic fatal shooting.

In 2005, soon after Ben Westhoff moved to St. Louis, he joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and was paired with Jorell Cleveland. Ben was twenty-eight, a white college grad from an affluent family. Jorell was eight, one of nine children from a poor, African American family living in nearby Ferguson. But the two instantly connected. Ben and Jorell formed a bond stronger than nearly any other in their lives. When Ben met the woman who'd become his wife, she observed that Ben and Jorell were "a package deal." They were brothers.

In the summer of 2016, Jorell was shot at point blank range in broad daylight in the middle of the street, yet no one was charged in his death. Ben grappled with mourning Jorell, but also with a feeling of responsibility. As Jorell's mentor, what could he have done differently? As a journalist, he had reported on gang life, interviewed crime kingpins, and even infiltrated drug labs in China. But now, he was investigating the life and death of someone he knew personally and examining what he did and did not know about his friend. Learning the truth about Jorell and the man who killed him required Ben to uncover a heartbreaking cycle of poverty, poor education, drug trafficking, and violence. Little Brother brilliantly combines a deeply personal history with a true-crime narrative that exposes the realities of life in communities like Ferguson all around the country.

"I finished Little Brother in one day. It humanizes people and communities who have long been dehumanized. So much of it hits close to home. Ben Westhoff has taken a lot of crazy risks in his work before, but it's the emotional exploration here that makes it his bravest work yet."-- Aisha Sultan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist

"The creative and original telling of a young man's life and death on the streets and the Big Brother who sought his killer."-- Sam Quinones, author of The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth and Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic

Event address: 
Ethical Society of St. Louis
9001 Clayton Road
Saint Louis, MO 63117
Little Brother: Love, Tragedy, and My Search for the Truth By Ben Westhoff Cover Image
ISBN: 9780306923173
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Hachette Books - May 24th, 2022

Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic By Ben Westhoff Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802157379
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Grove Press - September 22nd, 2020

Original Gangstas: Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and the Birth of West Coast Rap By Ben Westhoff Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316344852
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Hachette Books - May 16th, 2017

Dirty South: OutKast, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, and the Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip-Hop By Ben Westhoff Cover Image
ISBN: 9781569766064
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Chicago Review Press - May 1st, 2011


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