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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.
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).
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 by Jeff Hobbs
The bestselling, critically acclaimed, award-winning author of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace presents a brilliant and transcendent work that 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. Author Jeff Hobbs, writing with heart, sensitivity, and insight, 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. Combining complex social issues with the compelling experience of the individual, 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. Filled with portraits of secondary characters including friends, peers, parents, teachers, and girlfriends, this masterwork of immersive journalism is both intimate and profound and 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 by Jeff Hobbs
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.
Ghost Of The Innocent Man by Benjamin Rachlin
One of the Best Books of 2017: National Public Radio, San Francisco Chronicle, Library Journal, Shelf Awareness "Remarkable . . . Captivating . . . Rachlin is a skilled storyteller." --New York Times Book Review "A gripping legal-thriller mystery . . . Profoundly elevates good-cause advocacy to greater heights--to where innocent lives are saved." --USA Today "A crisply written page turner." --NPR A gripping account of one man's long road to freedom that will forever change how we understand our criminal justice system During the last three decades, more than two thousand American citizens have been wrongfully convicted. Ghost of the Innocent Man brings us one of the most dramatic of those cases and provides the clearest picture yet of the national scourge of wrongful conviction and of the opportunity for meaningful reform. When the final gavel clapped in a rural southern courtroom in the summer of 1988, Willie J. Grimes, a gentle spirit with no record of violence, was shocked and devastated to be convicted of first-degree rape and sentenced to life imprisonment. Here is the story of this everyman and his extraordinary quarter-century-long journey to freedom, told in breathtaking and sympathetic detail, from the botched evidence and suspect testimony that led to his incarceration to the tireless efforts to prove his innocence and the identity of the true perpetrator. These were spearheaded by his relentless champion, Christine Mumma, a cofounder of North Carolina's Innocence Inquiry Commission. That commission--unprecedented at its inception in 2006--remains a model organization unlike any other in the country, and one now responsible for a growing number of exonerations. With meticulous, prismatic research and pulse-quickening prose, Benjamin Rachlin presents one man's tragedy and triumph. The jarring and unsettling truth is that the story of Willie J. Grimes, for all its outrage, dignity, and grace, is not a unique travesty. But through the harrowing and suspenseful account of one life, told from the inside, we experience the full horror of wrongful conviction on a national scale. Ghost of the Innocent Man is both rare and essential, a masterwork of empathy. The book offers a profound reckoning not only with the shortcomings of our criminal justice system but also with its possibilities for redemption.
The Newcomers by Helen Thorpe
Traces the lives of twenty-two immigrant teens throughout the course of a year at Denver's South High School who attended a specially created English Language Acquisition class and who were helped to adapt through strategic introductions to American culture.
His Other Life by Melanie McCabe
The story waiting to be told -- A character named Terrence McCabe -- Three childhoods -- The distant hill -- Hazel asks for help -- Down in Mexico -- Families, destroyed and repaired -- Hazel's day in court -- The mystery man -- Pretend it never happened -- Something cloudy becomes clear -- The mystery women -- Mr. McCabe goes to Washington -- Letting go.
The Cultural Matrix by Orlando Patterson
The Cultural Matrix seeks to unravel an American paradox: the socioeconomic crisis and social isolation of disadvantaged black youth, on the one hand, and their extraordinary integration and prominence in popular culture on the other. This interdisciplinary work explains how a complex matrix of cultures influences black youth.
The Stickup Kids by Randol Contreras
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.