An Italian American Tells His True Story, ‘Surviving the Warzone’

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In his new book, Author Richard Quarantello shares how he lived and survived the gang-infested community of East New York, Brooklyn to the warzone of Vietnam.

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In the 1960s, East New York, Brooklyn made the Wild West look like Disney World. East New York was in such a lawless state. Street gangs dominated Brooklyn like the New Lots Boys, Fulton and Rockaway, the Crescents, Liberty Park Boys, Fountain and Pitkin, and Hemlock and Sutter. The black and Puerto Rican gangs took cool names, like the Chaplains, the largest black gang in Brooklyn. There were also the Mau Maus, the Bishops, the El Quintos, the Roman lords, and the El Tones, the largest Puerto Rican gang in East New York.The New Lots Boys go back before the 1930s and were mostly Italian and Jewish, with a few Irish and Puerto Rican guys.

“Surviving the Warzone” is the compelling memoir of author Richard Quarantello’s life as an Italian American who, as a young boy had to live in Brooklyn, N.Y. but got himself exposed to street violence as a member of a notorious gang. As a kid, he had heard stories about how bad the New Lots Boys were, with their cool motorcycle jackets and slicked-back. He did not know about or even think of being in a street gang. Every day on his way to work as a young butcher for his uncle, he had to pass Elton Street Park where the young New Lots Boys and girls hung out. He would stop at the park and talk to some of the guys he knew, and that is where his journey began. It was 1958, the author was just thirteen years old and is already in a gang, with a DA hairdo, a leather jacket, and the so-called “attitude”.

During the 60s, his affiliation with the New Lot Boys made him run into trouble with some of the most notorious gang groups in the area such as the Canarsie Chaplains, Richie Square Talk’s Crew, Larkey Stompers, the Unholy Alliance, Puerto Rican gangs, the El Tones and El Quintos, the Cypress Hills Bros, Hemlock and Sutter, Monster Bro, the Saints, the Fort Green Chaplians, the Crescents among others. However, his eventual military service and tour of duty in Vietnam made him realized how his whole world has changed.

“Surviving the Warzone” is an honest, in-your-face account of a man whose life has turned around since his younger days as a member of a gang in East New York and his unforgettable experience serving his country during the Vietnam War. Readers will be amazed and learn from this story of Richard Quarantello and the way he has journeyed and survived life’s toughest realities from the warzone of the city to the jungles of another country in order to seek his inner peace and sense of purpose. For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to

About the Author
Richard Quarantello was born on February 6, 1945, to Josephine and Dominick Quarantello in Brooklyn, N.Y., as a second-generation Italian American. He went to PS 202, East New York, Brooklyn, in grade school and East New York Vocational and Thomas Jefferson in high school. At the age of sixteen years, he left school to begin working, first as a butcher then as a carpet installer. In 1965, he was drafted for military service at the age of twenty years, sent to Vietnam, and wounded three times, receiving three Purple Hearts. After Vietnam, he married, had three children, and became an entrepreneur in the carpet business. Years later, he retired to Florida then relocated to Costa Rica with his wife to begin a new journey—writing his autobiography, rescuing animals, and performing music with local Latin and reggae bands, in which he was a vocalist and played saxophone and flute. He is currently living in Florida, performing music, completing his autobiography, working on a sequel, and living the best life he possibly can with no regrets and no apologies.

Surviving the Warzone * by Richard Quarantello
Growing Up East New York Brooklyn
Publication Date: December 5, 2013
Trade Paperback; $15.99; 191 pages; 978-1-4836-4125-6
Trade Hardback; $22.99; 191 pages; 978-1-4836-4126-3
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4836-4127-0

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (812) 355-4079 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

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