Gang Leader For A Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes To The Streets
Gang Leader For A Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes To The Streets

Gang Leader For A Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes To The Streets

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Penguin Books
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A New York Times Bestseller

Foreword by Stephen J. Dubner, coauthor of
Freakonomics

When first-year graduate student Sudhir Venkatesh walked into an abandoned building in one of Chicagos 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 JTs 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 gangs 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.

Riveting. --The New York Times

Compelling... dramatic... Venkatesh gives readers a window into a way of life that few Americans understand. --Newsweek

An eye-opening account into an underserved city within the city. --ChicagoTribune

The achievement of Gang Leader for a Day is to give the dry statistics a raw, beating heart. --TheBoston Globe

A rich portrait of the urban poor, drawn not from statistics but from viivd tales of their lives and his, and how they intertwined. --The Economist

A sensative, sympathetic, unpatronizing portrayal of lives that are ususally ignored or lumped into ill-defined stereotype. --Finanical Times

Sudhir Venkateshs latest book Floating City: A Rogue Sociologist Lost and Found in New Yorks Underground Economy--a memoir of sociological investigation revealing the true face of Americas most diverse city--was published in September 2013 by Penguin Press


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