In fairness, I should note that I read this book over a decade after it had been published. This aside, it is a book that clearly influenced such work as HBO’s The Wire (best series ever).
That said, I have to wonder why more attention or study wasn’t given to the women. In many ways, this is a book about men in those areas with little sidebars about the women. There is no concrete example given of the women outside the blanket stereotypes that are assigned to them. There is nothing wrong with this, but the book would have benefited from either (1) more detail about the women or (2) cutting the women out to a greater degree.
That complaint aside, the book is still a must read for any study of American inner cities. Furthermore, if you are planning on reading (or if you have read) Ghettoside, this is a good precursor or companion to that work.