A New York Times Bestseller "A rich portrait of the urban poor, drawn not from statistics but from vivid tales of their lives and his, and how they intertwined." --The Economist "A sensitive, sympathetic, unpatronizing portrayal of lives that are ususally ignored or lumped into ill-defined stereotype." --Finanical Times Foreword by Stephen J. Dubner, coauthor of Freakonomics When first-year graduate student Sudhir Venkatesh walked into an abandoned building in one of Chicago's most notorious housing projects, he hoped to find a few people willing to take a multiple-choice survey on urban poverty--and impress his professors with his boldness. He never imagined that as a result of this assignment he would befriend a gang leader named JT and spend the better part of a decade embedded inside the projects under JT's protection. From a privileged position of unprecedented access, Venkatesh observed JT and the rest of his gang as they operated their crack-selling business, made peace with their neighbors, evaded the law, and rose up or fell within the ranks of the gang's complex hierarchical structure. Examining the morally ambiguous, highly intricate, and often corrupt struggle to survive in an urban war zone, Gang Leader for a Day also tells the story of the complicated friendship that develops between Venkatesh and JT--two young and ambitious men a universe apart. Sudhir Venkatesh's latest book Floating City: A Rogue Sociologist Lost and Found in New York's Underground Economy--a memoir of sociological investigation revealing the true face of America's most diverse city--is also published by Penguin Press.
Author: Sudhir Venkatesh Publisher: Penguin Books Published: 01/01/2009 Pages: 320 Binding Type: Paperback Weight: 0.64lbs Size: 8.40h x 5.46w x 0.68d ISBN: 9780143114932 Age Range: 18-UP
Accelerated Reader: Reading Level: 6.8 Point Value: 15 Interest Level: Upper Grade Quiz #/Name: 126021 / Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets
Review Citation(s): New York Times Book Review 01/18/2009 pg. 20
About the Author SUDHIR VENKATESH is William B. Ransford Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. He has written extensively about American poverty and is currently working on a project comparing the urban poor in France and the United States. His writings, stories, and documentaries have appeared in The American Prospect, This American Life, The Source, PBS, and National Public Radio. Venkatesh's latest book, Floating City: A Rogue Sociologist Lost and Found in New York's Underground Economy, was published in September 2013 by The Penguin Press.