Venkatesh, Sudhir Gang Leader for a Day

ISBN 13: 9780141030913

Gang Leader for a Day

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9780141030913: Gang Leader for a Day

Sudhir Venkatesh the young sociologist who became famous in Freakonomics (Why do drug dealers still live with their moms?) describes his time living with the gangs on the Southside of Chicago and answers another question: what's it like to live in hell?

In the Robert Taylor Homes projects on Chicago's South Side, Sudhir befriends J.T., a gang leader for the Black Kings. As he slowly gains J.T.'s trust, one day, in order to convince Sudhir of his own CEO-like qualities, J.T. makes him leader of the gang...

Why does J.T. make his henchmen, the 'shorties', stay in school? What is the difference between a 'regular' hustler and a 'hype' - and is Peanut telling him the truth about which she is? And, when the FBI finally starts cracking down on the Black Kings, is it time to get out - or is it too late?

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Review:

'A rollicking read ! a vivid insight into gang culture' The Times 'Darkly entertaining ! an absorbing and self-effacing odyssey' The Guardian 'An absolutely incredible book ... equal parts comedy and tragedy ... I promise you will not be able to put it down' - Steven D. Levitt, co-author, Freakonomics

From the Author:

FROM THE FOREWORD BY STEVEN J. DUBNER:

I believe that Sudhir Venkatesh was born with two abnormalities: an overdeveloped curiosity and an underdeveloped sense of fear.

How else to explain him? Like thousands upon thousands of people, he entered graduate school one fall and was dispatched by his professors to do some research. This research happened to take him to the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, one of the worst ghettos in America. But blessed by that outlandish curiosity and unfettered by the sort of commonsensical fear that most of us would experience upon being held hostage by an armed crack gang, as Venkatesh was early on in his research, he kept coming back for more.

I met Venkatesh a few years ago when I interviewed him for Freakonomics, a book I wrote with the economist Steve Levitt. Venkatesh and Levitt had collaborated on several academic papers about the economics of crack cocaine. Those papers were interesting, to be sure, but Venkatesh himself presented a whole new level of fascination. He is soft-spoken and laconic; he doesn't volunteer much information. But every time you ask him a question, it is like tugging a thread on an old tapestry: the whole thing unspools and falls at your feet. Story after story, marked by lapidary detail and hard-won insight: the rogue cop who terrorized the neighborhood; the jerry-built network through which poor families hustled to survive; the time Venkatesh himself became gang leader for a day.

Although we wrote about Venkatesh in Freakonomics (it was many readers' favorite part), there wasn't room for any of these stories. Thankfully, he has now written an extraordinary book that details all of his adventures and misadventures. The stories he tells are far stranger than fiction, and they are also more forceful, heartbreaking, and hilarious. Along the way, he paints a unique portrait of the kind of neighborhood that is badly misrepresented when it is represented at all. Journalists like me might hang out in such neighborhoods for a week or a month or even a year. Most social scientists and do-gooders tend to do their work at arm's length. But Venkatesh practically lived in this neighborhood for the better part of a decade. He brought the perspective of an outsider and came away with an insider's access. A lot of writing about the poor tends to reduce living, breathing, joking, struggling, sensual, moral human beings to dupes who are shoved about by invisible forces. This book does the opposite. It shows, day by day and dollar by dollar, how the crack dealers, tenant leaders, prostitutes, parents, hustlers, cops, and Venkatesh himself tried to construct a good life out of substandard materials.

As much as I have come to like Venkatesh, and admire him, I probably would not want to be a member of his family: I would worry too much about his fearlessness. I probably wouldn't want to be one of his research subjects either, for his curiosity must be exhausting. But I am very, very happy to have been one of the first readers of Venkatesh's book, for it is as extraordinary as he is.

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Sudhir Venkatesh
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ISBN 10: 0141030917 ISBN 13: 9780141030913
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Sudhir Venkatesh the young sociologist who became famous in Freakonomics (Why do drug dealers still live with their moms?) describes his time living with the gangs on the Southside of Chicago and answers another question: what s it like to live in hell? In the Robert Taylor Homes projects on Chicago s South Side, Sudhir befriends J.T., a gang leader for the Black Kings. As he slowly gains J.T. s trust, one day, in order to convince Sudhir of his own CEO-like qualities, J.T. makes him leader of the gang.Why does J.T. make his henchmen, the shorties , stay in school? What is the difference between a regular hustler and a hype - and is Peanut telling him the truth about which she is? And, when the FBI finally starts cracking down on the Black Kings, is it time to get out - or is it too late?. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141030913

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Sudhir Venkatesh
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2009)
ISBN 10: 0141030917 ISBN 13: 9780141030913
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Sudhir Venkatesh the young sociologist who became famous in Freakonomics (Why do drug dealers still live with their moms?) describes his time living with the gangs on the Southside of Chicago and answers another question: what s it like to live in hell? In the Robert Taylor Homes projects on Chicago s South Side, Sudhir befriends J.T., a gang leader for the Black Kings. As he slowly gains J.T. s trust, one day, in order to convince Sudhir of his own CEO-like qualities, J.T. makes him leader of the gang.Why does J.T. make his henchmen, the shorties , stay in school? What is the difference between a regular hustler and a hype - and is Peanut telling him the truth about which she is? And, when the FBI finally starts cracking down on the Black Kings, is it time to get out - or is it too late?. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141030913

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Book Description 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 129mm x 198mm x 18mm. Paperback. Sudhir Venkatesh the young sociologist who became famous in Freakonomics (Why do drug dealers still live with their moms?) describes his time living with the gangs on the Southside of Chic.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 320 pages. 0.236. Bookseller Inventory # 9780141030913

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Gang Leader for a Day, Sudhir Venkatesh, Sudhir Venkatesh the young sociologist who became famous in "Freakonomics" (Why do drug dealers still live with their moms?) describes his time living with the gangs on the Southside of Chicago and answers another question: what's it like to live in hell? In the Robert Taylor Homes projects on Chicago's South Side, Sudhir befriends J.T., a gang leader for the Black Kings. As he slowly gains J.T.'s trust, one day, in order to convince Sudhir of his own CEO-like qualities, J.T. makes him leader of the gang.Why does J.T. make his henchmen, the 'shorties', stay in school? What is the difference between a 'regular' hustler and a 'hype' - and is Peanut telling him the truth about which she is? And, when the FBI finally starts cracking down on the Black Kings, is it time to get out - or is it too late?. Bookseller Inventory # B9780141030913

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; Sudhir Venkatesh the young sociologist who became famous in Freakonomics (Why do drug dealers still live with their moms?) describes his time living with the gangs on the Southside of Chicago and answers another question: what's it like to live in hell? In the Robert Taylor Homes projects on Chicag. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780141030913_rkm

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Book Condition: New. 2009. Paperback. Describes the author's time living with the gangs on the Southside of Chicago. This book tells how in the Robert Taylor Homes projects on Chicago's South Side, he befriends JT, a gang leader for the Black Kings. It also tells how he gains JT's trust, and in order to convince the author of his CEO-like qualities, JT makes him leader of the gang. Num Pages: 320 pages. BIC Classification: JFCA; JFSP2. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (P) Professional & Vocational; (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 197 x 129 x 19. Weight in Grams: 238. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780141030913

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2009. Book Condition: New. 2009. Paperback. Describes the author's time living with the gangs on the Southside of Chicago. This book tells how in the Robert Taylor Homes projects on Chicago's South Side, he befriends JT, a gang leader for the Black Kings. It also tells how he gains JT's trust, and in order to convince the author of his CEO-like qualities, JT makes him leader of the gang. Num Pages: 320 pages. BIC Classification: JFCA; JFSP2. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (P) Professional & Vocational; (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 197 x 129 x 19. Weight in Grams: 238. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780141030913

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