Street Poison: The Biography of Iceberg Slim

3.68 avg rating
( 196 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781622317653: Street Poison: The Biography of Iceberg Slim
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

The first and definitive biography of one of America's bestselling, notorious, and influential writers of the twentieth century: Iceberg Slim, ne Robert Beck, author of the multimillion-copy memoir Pimp and such equally popular novels as Trick Baby and Mama Black Widow.

For a career as a, yes, ruthless pimp in the '40s and '50s, Iceberg Slim refashioned himself as the first and still the greatest of "street lit" masters, whose vivid books have made him an icon to such rappers as Ice-T, Jay-Z, and Snoop Dogg and a presiding spirit of "blaxploitation" culture. You can't understand contemporary black (and even American) culture without reckoning with Iceberg Slim and his many acolytes and imitators.

Literature professor Justin Gifford has been researching the life work of Robert Beck for a decade, culminating in Street Poison, a colorful and compassionate biography of one of the most complicated figures in the twentieth-century literature. Drawing on a wealth of archival material-including FBI files, prison records, and interviews with Beck, his wife, and his daughters-Gifford explores the sexual trauma and racial violence Beck endured that led to his reinvention as Iceberg Slim, one of America's most infamous pimps of the 1940s and '50s. From pimping his profoundly influential confessional autobiography, Pimp, to his involvement in radical politics, Gifford's biography illuminates the life and works of one of American literature's most unique renegades.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

An Amazon Best Book of August 2015: You might not know who Iceberg Slim is, but there's no escaping his influence. Born Robert Beck in 1918, at the height of the "Great Migration" that brought millions of African Americans out of the South and into northern cities, he spent the formative years of his life practicing various street hustles in the "black belt" of Milwaukee. His initial trial-and-error approach resulted in several prison stints, where he completed his education with a master class in pimping under the tutelage of the more accomplished inmates. (He also studied Freud, rounding out his talents as a manipulator.) His training served him well, as it were, as evidenced by a notorious 25-year criminal career punctuated by several more trips to the cooler. Following his last incarceration in 1961, Beck gave up the game, joining his ailing mother in Los Angeles while turning his energy toward writing. And this is why you might know who Iceberg Slim is: His books--notably his epic autobiography, Pimp--became unlikely underground bestsellers, with millions read or purchased seemingly anywhere but where books are sold. Inspiring generations of writers and performers who followed--including Donald Goines, Dave Chappelle, Ice-T, and Ice-Cube (the latter two choosing their pseudonyms as homage)--Iceberg Slim codified a unique American subculture, transforming it into popular culture in the process.

But what to make of Justin Gifford's biography? It's certainly not a redemption story. Robert Beck was not often a good man, and the straightforward descriptions of his repugnant, businesslike brutality--often in his own words--are difficult to read. The tragic figure of Beck's mother orbits the story, providing a kind of moral gravity (albeit weak) that occasionally and eventually pulls him away from his illicit lifestyle, but he's mostly a source of devastating pain for her. This isn't hagiography either; while addressing the gaudier aspects of pimp culture--again, popularized by Slim--Gifford is careful to avoid sensationalism or glorification, despite the occasional foray into Slim's own streetwise vernacular. Ultimately, Street Poison is a compulsively readable story of an unseemly man, whose legacy was as unforeseeable as it was impactful. --Jon Foro

About the Author:

J. D. Jackson is a theater professor, aspiring stage director, and award-winning audiobook narrator. A classically trained actor, his television and film credits include roles on House, ER, and Law & Order. J. D. was named one of AudioFile magazine's Best Voices of the Year for 2012 and 2013.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780385538343: Street Poison: The Biography of Iceberg Slim

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0385538340 ISBN 13:  9780385538343
Publisher: Doubleday, 2015
Hardcover

9781510728042: Street Poison: The Biography of Iceberg Slim

Skyhor..., 2018
Softcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Gifford, Justin
Published by HighBridge Audio 8/4/2015 (2015)
ISBN 10: 1622317653 ISBN 13: 9781622317653
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HighBridge Audio 8/4/2015, 2015. CD-Audio. Condition: New. Street Poison: The Biography of Iceberg Slim. Media. Seller Inventory # BBS-9781622317653

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 22.90
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Justin Gifford
Published by HIGHBRIDGE AUDIO, United States (2015)
ISBN 10: 1622317653 ISBN 13: 9781622317653
New Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository International
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HIGHBRIDGE AUDIO, United States, 2015. CD-Audio. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New. The first and definitive biography of one of America s bestselling, notorious, and influential writers of the twentieth century: Iceberg Slim, ne Robert Beck, author of the multimillion-copy memoir Pimp and such equally popular novels as Trick Baby and Mama Black Widow. For a career as a, yes, ruthless pimp in the 40s and 50s, Iceberg Slim refashioned himself as the first and still the greatest of street lit masters, whose vivid books have made him an icon to such rappers as Ice-T, Jay-Z, and Snoop Dogg and a presiding spirit of blaxploitation culture. You can t understand contemporary black (and even American) culture without reckoning with Iceberg Slim and his many acolytes and imitators. Literature professor Justin Gifford has been researching the life work of Robert Beck for a decade, culminating in Street Poison, a colorful and compassionate biography of one of the most complicated figures in the twentieth-century literature. Drawing on a wealth of archival material-including FBI files, prison records, and interviews with Beck, his wife, and his daughters-Gifford explores the sexual trauma and racial violence Beck endured that led to his reinvention as Iceberg Slim, one of America s most infamous pimps of the 1940s and 50s. From pimping his profoundly influential confessional autobiography, Pimp, to his involvement in radical politics, Gifford s biography illuminates the life and works of one of American literature s most unique renegades.?. Seller Inventory # AAC9781622317653

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 25.71
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Justin Gifford
ISBN 10: 1622317653 ISBN 13: 9781622317653
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Grand Eagle Retail
(Wilmington, DE, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Compact Disc. Condition: New. Compact Disc. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 0.227. Seller Inventory # 9781622317653

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 31.67
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Justin Gifford
Published by HighBridge Company
ISBN 10: 1622317653 ISBN 13: 9781622317653
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
BuySomeBooks
(Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HighBridge Company. No binding. Condition: New. The first and definitive biography of one of Americas bestselling, notorious, and influential writers of the twentieth century: Iceberg Slim, ne Robert Beck, author of the multimillion-copy memoir Pimp and such equally popular novels as Trick Baby and Mama Black Widow. For a career as a, yes, ruthless pimp in the 40s and 50s, Iceberg Slim refashioned himself as the first and still the greatest of street lit masters, whose vivid books have made him an icon to such rappers as Ice-T, Jay-Z, and Snoop Dogg and a presiding spirit of blaxploitation culture. You cant understand contemporary black (and even American) culture without reckoning with Iceberg Slim and his many acolytes and imitators. Literature professor Justin Gifford has been researching the life work of Robert Beck for a decade, culminating in Street Poison, a colorful and compassionate biography of one of the most complicated figures in the twentieth-century literature. Drawing on a wealth of archival material including FBI files, prison records, and interviews with Beck, his wife, and his daughters Gifford explores the sexual trauma and racial violence Beck endured that led to his reinvention as Iceberg Slim, one of Americas most infamous pimps of the 1940s and 50s. From pimping his profoundly influential confessional autobiography, Pimp, to his involvement in radical politics, Giffords biography illuminates the life and works of one of American literatures most unique renegades. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Audio CD. Seller Inventory # 9781622317653

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 31.96
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Justin Gifford
Published by HIGHBRIDGE AUDIO, United States (2015)
ISBN 10: 1622317653 ISBN 13: 9781622317653
New Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HIGHBRIDGE AUDIO, United States, 2015. CD-Audio. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New. The first and definitive biography of one of America s bestselling, notorious, and influential writers of the twentieth century: Iceberg Slim, ne Robert Beck, author of the multimillion-copy memoir Pimp and such equally popular novels as Trick Baby and Mama Black Widow. For a career as a, yes, ruthless pimp in the 40s and 50s, Iceberg Slim refashioned himself as the first and still the greatest of street lit masters, whose vivid books have made him an icon to such rappers as Ice-T, Jay-Z, and Snoop Dogg and a presiding spirit of blaxploitation culture. You can t understand contemporary black (and even American) culture without reckoning with Iceberg Slim and his many acolytes and imitators. Literature professor Justin Gifford has been researching the life work of Robert Beck for a decade, culminating in Street Poison, a colorful and compassionate biography of one of the most complicated figures in the twentieth-century literature. Drawing on a wealth of archival material-including FBI files, prison records, and interviews with Beck, his wife, and his daughters-Gifford explores the sexual trauma and racial violence Beck endured that led to his reinvention as Iceberg Slim, one of America s most infamous pimps of the 1940s and 50s. From pimping his profoundly influential confessional autobiography, Pimp, to his involvement in radical politics, Gifford s biography illuminates the life and works of one of American literature s most unique renegades.?. Seller Inventory # AAC9781622317653

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 32.02
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Justin Gifford, J.D. Jackson (read by)
Published by HighBridge Company 2015-08-04, Prince Frederick (2015)
ISBN 10: 1622317653 ISBN 13: 9781622317653
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HighBridge Company 2015-08-04, Prince Frederick, 2015. audio CD. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 9781622317653

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 30.85
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 9.88
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Justin Gifford
Published by HighBridge Audio (2015)
ISBN 10: 1622317653 ISBN 13: 9781622317653
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HighBridge Audio, 2015. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1622317653

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 37.71
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.27
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Gifford, Justin
Published by Highbridge Co (2015)
ISBN 10: 1622317653 ISBN 13: 9781622317653
New Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Highbridge Co, 2015. Compact Disc. Condition: Brand New. 6.00x5.60x1.00 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # x-1622317653

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 49.75
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 9.88
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

9.

Justin Gifford
ISBN 10: 1622317653 ISBN 13: 9781622317653
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
AussieBookSeller
(Lidcombe, NSW, Australia)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Compact Disc. Condition: New. Compact Disc. Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 0.227. Seller Inventory # 9781622317653

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 35.70
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 37.00
From Australia to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds