The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace
Author: Jeff Hobbs
Pages: 406
ISBN: 9781476731919
Available:
Release: 2015-07-28
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Traces a young man's effort to escape the dangers of the streets and his own nature after graduating from Yale, describing his youth in violent 1980s Newark, efforts to navigate two fiercely insular worlds and life-ending drug deals. 75,000 first printing.

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace
Author: Jeff Hobbs
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9781476731926
Available:
Release: 2014-09-23
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An instant New York Times bestseller, named a best book of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Amazon, and Entertainment Weekly, among others, this celebrated account of a young African-American man who escaped Newark, NJ, to attend Yale, but still faced the dangers of the streets when he returned is, “nuanced and shattering” (People) and “mesmeric” (The New York Times Book Review). When author Jeff Hobbs arrived at Yale University, he became fast friends with the man who would be his college roommate for four years, Robert Peace. Robert’s life was rough from the beginning in the crime-ridden streets of Newark in the 1980s, with his father in jail and his mother earning less than $15,000 a year. But Robert was a brilliant student, and it was supposed to get easier when he was accepted to Yale, where he studied molecular biochemistry and biophysics. But it didn’t get easier. Robert carried with him the difficult dual nature of his existence, trying to fit in at Yale, and at home on breaks. A compelling and honest portrait of Robert’s relationships—with his struggling mother, with his incarcerated father, with his teachers and friends—The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace encompasses the most enduring conflicts in America: race, class, drugs, community, imprisonment, education, family, friendship, and love. It’s about the collision of two fiercely insular worlds—the ivy-covered campus of Yale University and the slums of Newark, New Jersey, and the difficulty of going from one to the other and then back again. It’s about trying to live a decent life in America. But most all this “fresh, compelling” (The Washington Post) story is about the tragic life of one singular brilliant young man. His end, a violent one, is heartbreaking and powerful and “a haunting American tragedy for our times” (Entertainment Weekly).

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace
Author: Jeff Hobbs
Pages: 406
ISBN: 9781476731902
Available:
Release: 2014-09-23
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Presents the life of Robert Peace, an African American who became a brillant biochemistry student at Yale University, but after graduation lived as drug dealer and was brutally murdered at the age of thirty.

Show Them You re Good

Show Them You re Good
Author: Jeff Hobbs
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781982116354
Available:
Release: 2020-08-18
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The acclaimed, award-winning author of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace presents a “carefully observed journalistic account [that] widens our view of the modern ‘immigrant experience’” (The New York Times Book Review) as he closely follows four Los Angeles high school boys as they apply to college. Four teenage boys are high school seniors at two very different schools within the city of Los Angeles, the second largest school district in the nation with nearly 700,000 students. In this “exceptional work of investigative journalism…laced with compassion, insight, and humor” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) Jeff Hobbs stunningly captures the challenges and triumphs of being a young person confronting the future—both their own and the cultures in which they live—in contemporary America. Blending complex social issues with each individual experience, Hobbs takes us deep inside these boys’ worlds. The foursome includes Carlos, the younger son of undocumented delivery workers, who aims to follow in his older brother’s footsteps and attend an Ivy League college; Tio harbors serious ambitions to become an engineer despite a father who doesn’t believe in him; Jon, devoted member of the academic decathalon team, struggles to put distance between himself and his mother, who is suffocating him with her own expectations; and Owen, raised in a wealthy family, can’t get serious about academics but knows he must. Including portraits of secondary characters—friends, peers, parents, teachers, and girlfriends—this “uniquely illuminating” (Booklist) masterwork of immersive journalism is destined to ignite conversations about class, race, expectations, cultural divides, and even the concept of fate. Hobbs’s portrayal of these young men is not only revelatory and relevant, but also moving, eloquent, and indelibly powerful.

The Tourists

The Tourists
Author: Jeff Hobbs
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780743290968
Available:
Release: 2008-08-12
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Wandering the streets of Manhattan while thinking about the lives of his three former Yale classmates, a disaffected professional considers how their respective quests for happiness have remained unfulfilled in spite of their financial successes. A first novel. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.

Life on the Outside

Life on the Outside
Author: Jennifer Gonnerman
Pages: 368
ISBN: 1429931566
Available:
Release: 2005-02-01
Editor: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A groundbreaking work of reportage on the hidden consequences of America's prison boom Life On the Outside tells the story of Elaine Bartlett, who spent sixteen years in Bedford Hills prison for selling cocaine-a first offense under New York's harsh Rockefeller drug laws. The book opens on the morning of January 26, 2000, when she is set free, having received clemency from the governor. At forty-two, Elaine has virtually nothing: no money, no job, no real home. What she does have is a large and troubled family, including four children, who live in a decrepit Lower East Side housing project. "I left one prison to come home to another," Elaine says. Over the next months, she clashes with her daughters, hunts for a job, visits her son and her husband in prison, negotiates the rules of parole, searches for her own home-and campaigns for the repeal of the sentencing guidelines that led to her long prison term. In recent years, the United States has imprisoned more than two million people while making few preparations for their eventual release. Now these prisoners are coming home in record numbers, as unprepared for "life on the outside" as society is for them. Writing with a passion and an empathy that recall There Are No Children Here and Cold New World, Jennifer Gonnerman calls attention to this mounting national crisis by crafting an intimate family portrait-a story of struggle and survival, guilt and forgiveness, loneliness and love. Life on the Outside is a 2004 National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction.

Picking Cotton

Picking Cotton
Author: Jennifer Thompson-Cannino,Ronald Cotton,Erin Torneo
Pages: 304
ISBN: 1429962151
Available:
Release: 2010-01-05
Editor: St. Martin's Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The New York Times best selling true story of an unlikely friendship forged between a woman and the man she incorrectly identified as her rapist and sent to prison for 11 years. Jennifer Thompson was raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment while she slept. She was able to escape, and eventually positively identified Ronald Cotton as her attacker. Ronald insisted that she was mistaken-- but Jennifer's positive identification was the compelling evidence that put him behind bars. After eleven years, Ronald was allowed to take a DNA test that proved his innocence. He was released, after serving more than a decade in prison for a crime he never committed. Two years later, Jennifer and Ronald met face to face-- and forged an unlikely friendship that changed both of their lives. With Picking Cotton, Jennifer and Ronald tell in their own words the harrowing details of their tragedy, and challenge our ideas of memory and judgment while demonstrating the profound nature of human grace and the healing power of forgiveness.

A Quantum Life

A Quantum Life
Author: Hakeem Oluseyi,Joshua Horwitz
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781984819109
Available:
Release: 2021-06-15
Editor: Ballantine Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In this inspiring coming-of-age memoir, a world-renowned astrophysicist emerges from an impoverished childhood and crime-filled adolescence to ascend through the top ranks of research physics. “You’ll encounter one extraordinary turn of events after another, as the extraordinary chess player, puzzle solver, and occasional grifter works his way from grinding poverty and deep despair to worldwide acclaim as a physicist.”—Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society Navigating poverty, violence, and instability, a young James Plummer had two guiding stars—a genius IQ and a love of science. But a bookish nerd is a soft target, and James faced years of bullying and abuse. As he struggled to survive his childhood in some of the country’s toughest urban neighborhoods in New Orleans, Houston, and LA, and later in the equally poor backwoods of Mississippi, he adopted the persona of “gangsta nerd”—dealing weed in juke joints while winning state science fairs with computer programs that model Einstein’s theory of relativity. Once admitted to the elite physics PhD program at Stanford University, James found himself pulled between the promise of a bright future and a dangerous crack cocaine habit he developed in college. With the encouragement of his mentor and the sole Black professor in the physics department, James confronted his personal demons as well as the entrenched racism and classism of the scientific establishment. When he finally seized his dream of a life in astrophysics, he adopted a new name, Hakeem Muata Oluseyi, to honor his African ancestors. Alternately heartbreaking and hopeful, A Quantum Life narrates one man’s remarkable quest across an ever-expanding universe filled with entanglement and choice.

Best Intentions

Best Intentions
Author: Robert Sam Anson
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780307756992
Available:
Release: 2011-03-16
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A complex, poignant exploration of racial attitudes in America, as illumined by the case of Edmund Perry. Perry, a seventeen-year-old black honors student from Harlem, was fatally shot by a young white plainclothes policeman in 1985 in an alleged mugging attempt. Perry had recently graduated from Philips Exeter Academy and was to attend Stanford University that fall. The shooting and the subsequent case, in which Edmund's elder brother Jonah, an undergraduate at Cornell University, was accused, tried, and found not guilty, drew national headlines and was the subject of heated debate among black and white communities alike. Using interviews with Perry's parents, friends, and former teachers in Harlem and at Exeter, journalist Robert Sam Anson has written a compelling account of a boy caught between two worlds and a profound portrait of the state of race in America.

The Other Wes Moore

The Other Wes Moore
Author: Wes Moore
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781588369697
Available:
Release: 2010-04-27
Editor: One World
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his. Two kids named Wes Moore were born blocks apart within a year of each other. Both grew up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods; both hung out on street corners with their crews; both ran into trouble with the police. How, then, did one grow up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader, while the other ended up a convicted murderer serving a life sentence? Wes Moore, the author of this fascinating book, sets out to answer this profound question. In alternating narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, The Other Wes Moore tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a hostile world. BONUS: This edition contains a new afterword and a The Other Wes Moore discussion guide. Praise for The Other Wes Moore “Moving and inspiring, The Other Wes Moore is a story for our times.”—Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here “A tense, compelling story and an inspirational guide for all who care about helping young people.”—Juan Williams, author of Enough “This should be required reading for anyone who is trying to understand what is happening to young men in our inner cities.”—Geoffrey Canada, author of Fist Stick Knife Gun “The Other Wes Moore gets to the heart of the matter on faith, education, respect, the hard facts of incarceration, and the choices and challenges we all face. It’s educational and inspiring.”—Ben Carson, M.D., author of Gifted Hands “Wes Moore is destined to become one of the most powerful and influential leaders of this century. You need only read this book to understand why.”—William S. Cohen, former U.S. senator and secretary of defense “This intriguing narrative is enlightening, encouraging, and empowering. Read these words, absorb their meanings, and create your own plan to act and leave a legacy.”—Tavis Smiley, from the Afterword

While the City Slept

While the City Slept
Author: Eli Sanders
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781101634677
Available:
Release: 2016-02-02
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“Binged Making a Murderer? Try . . . [this] riveting portrait of a tragic, preventable crime.” —Entertainment Weekly Finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime Finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s gripping account of one young man’s path to murder—and a wake-up call for mental health care in America On a summer night in 2009, three lives intersected in one American neighborhood. Two people newly in love—Teresa Butz and Jennifer Hopper, who spent many years trying to find themselves and who eventually found each other—and a young man on a dangerous psychological descent: Isaiah Kalebu, age twenty-three, the son of a distant, authoritarian father and a mother with a family history of mental illness. All three paths forever altered by a violent crime, all three stories a wake-up call to the system that failed to see the signs. In this riveting, probing, compassionate account of a murder in Seattle, Eli Sanders, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his newspaper coverage of the crime, offers a deeply reported portrait in microcosm of the state of mental health care in this country—as well as an inspiring story of love and forgiveness. Culminating in Kalebu’s dangerous slide toward violence—observed by family members, police, mental health workers, lawyers, and judges, but stopped by no one—While the City Slept is the story of a crime of opportunity and of the string of missed opportunities that made it possible. It shows what can happen when a disturbed member of society repeatedly falls through the cracks, and in the tradition of The Other Wes Moore and The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, is an indelible, human-level story, brilliantly told, with the potential to inspire social change.

The Last Pirate

The Last Pirate
Author: Tony Dokoupil
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780307739483
Available:
Release: 2015-01-06
Editor: Anchor Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Traces the story of the author's father's rise and fall as a multi-ton marijuana smuggler against a backdrop of Reagan politics and the heated debates that continue today. 35,000 first printing.

Top Student Top School

Top Student  Top School
Author: Alexandria Walton Radford
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780226040950
Available:
Release: 2013-05-06
Editor: University of Chicago Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Most of us think that valedictorians can write their own ticket. By reaching the top of their class they have proven their merit, so their next logical step should be to attend the nation’s very best universities. Yet in Top Student, Top School?, Alexandria Walton Radford, of RTI Internatoinal, reveals that many valedictorians do not enroll in prestigious institutions. Employing an original five-state study that surveyed nine hundred public high school valedictorians, she sets out to determine when and why valedictorians end up at less selective schools, showing that social class makes all the difference. Radford traces valedictorians’ paths to college and presents damning evidence that high schools do not provide sufficient guidance on crucial factors affecting college selection, such as reputation, financial aid, and even the application process itself. Left in a bewildering environment of seemingly similar options, many students depend on their parents for assistance—and this allows social class to rear its head and have a profound impact on where students attend. Simply put, parents from less affluent backgrounds are far less informed about differences in colleges’ quality, the college application process, and financial aid options, which significantly limits their child’s chances of attending a competitive school, even when their child has already managed to become valedictorian. Top Student, Top School? pinpoints an overlooked yet critical juncture in the education process, one that stands as a barrier to class mobility. By focusing solely on valedictorians, it shows that students’ paths diverge by social class even when they are similarly well-prepared academically, and this divergence is traceable to specific failures by society, failures that we can and should address. Watch an interview of Alexandria Walton Radford discussing her book here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F81c1D1BpY0

A Life Too Short

A Life Too Short
Author: Ronald Reng
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781446499023
Available:
Release: 2011-09-29
Editor: Random House
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

WINNER OF THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR WINNER OF THE BRITISH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS FOOTBALL BOOK OF THE YEAR Why does an international footballer with the world at his feet decide to take his own life? On 10 November 2009 the German national goalkeeper, Robert Enke, stepped in front of a passing train. He was thirty-two years old and a devoted husband and father. Enke had played for a string of Europe's top clubs, including Barcelona and Jose Mourinho's Benfica and was destined to become his country's first choice in goal for years to come. But beneath the veneer of success, Enke battled with crippling depression. Award-winning writer Ronald Reng pieces together the puzzle of his friend's life, shedding valuable light on the crushing pressures endured by professional sportsmen and on life at the top clubs. At its heart, Enke's tragedy is a universal story of a man struggling against his demons. ‘It should be on every British football fan's reading list’ Metro

Social Capital

Social Capital
Author: David Halpern
Pages: 388
ISBN: 9780745625478
Available:
Release: 2005
Editor: Polity
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This work presents an introduction to the concept of social capital - a term which refers to the social networks, informal structures and norms that facilitate individual and collective action.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Author: Junot Daz
Pages: 339
ISBN: 9781594483295
Available:
Release: 2008
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Living with an old-world mother and rebellious sister, an urban New Jersey misfit dreams of becoming the next J. R. R. Tolkien and believes that a long-standing family curse is thwarting his efforts to find love and happiness. A first novel by the author of the collection, Drown. Reprint.

The Stickup Kids

The Stickup Kids
Author: Randol Contreras
Pages: 271
ISBN: 9780520273375
Available:
Release: 2013
Editor: Univ of California Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Randol Contreras came of age in the South Bronx during the 1980s, a time when the community was devastated by cuts in social services, a rise in arson and abandonment, and the rise of crack-cocaine. For this riveting book, he returns to the South Bronx with a sociological eye and provides an unprecedented insider’s look at the workings of a group of Dominican drug robbers. Known on the streets as “Stickup Kids,” these men raided and brutally tortured drug dealers storing large amounts of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and cash. As a participant observer, Randol Contreras offers both a personal and theoretical account for the rise of the Stickup Kids and their violence. He mainly focuses on the lives of neighborhood friends, who went from being crack dealers to drug robbers once their lucrative crack market opportunities disappeared. The result is a stunning, vivid, on-the-ground ethnographic description of a drug robbery’s violence, the drug market high life, the criminal life course, and the eventual pain and suffering experienced by the casualties of the Crack Era. Provocative and eye-opening, The Stickup Kids urges us to explore the ravages of the drug trade through weaving history, biography, social structure, and drug market forces. It offers a revelatory explanation for drug market violence by masterfully uncovering the hidden social forces that produce violent and self-destructive individuals. Part memoir, part penetrating analysis, this book is engaging, personal, deeply informed, and entirely absorbing.

The Better Angels of Our Nature

The Better Angels of Our Nature
Author: Steven Pinker
Pages: 802
ISBN: 9780143122012
Available:
Release: 2012-09
Editor: Penguin Group USA
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Presents a controversial history of violence which argues that today's world is the most peaceful time in human existence, drawing on psychological insights into intrinsic values that are causing people to condemn violence as an acceptable measure.

Project Girl

Project Girl
Author: Janet McDonald
Pages: 231
ISBN: 0520223454
Available:
Release: 2000-10-10
Editor: Univ of California Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Recounts the story of Janet McDonald, who grew up in the New York projects and graduated from Vassar College, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and New York University School of Law, before becoming a lawyer in Paris.

The Cook Up

The Cook Up
Author: D. Watkins
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781455588640
Available:
Release: 2016-05-03
Editor: Grand Central Publishing
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE O MAGAZINE BEST SUMMER BOOK Told by the man who lived it, The Cook Up is a riveting look inside the Baltimore drug trade as portrayed in the hit HBO series, The Wire. The smartest kid on his block in East Baltimore, D. was certain he would escape the life of drugs, decadence, and violence that had surrounded him since birth. But when his brother Devin is shot-only days after D. receives notice that he's been accepted into Georgetown University-the plans for his life are exploded, and he takes up the mantel of his brother's crack empire. D. succeeds in cultivating the family business, but when he meets a woman unlike any he's known before, his priorities are once more put into question. Equally terrifying and hilarious, inspiring and heartbreaking, D.'s story offers a rare glimpse into the mentality of a person who has escaped many hells.