The publisher of Sudhir Venkatesh’s Gang Leader for a Day is trying to flog it by its association with Freakonomics (Venkatesh contributed to. Gang Leader for a Day has ratings and reviews. Petra Eggs said: Sudhir Venkatesh had a problem when researching and writing this book. It wa. A New York Times Bestseller Foreword by Stephen J. Dubner, coauthor of Freakonomics When first-year graduate student Sudhir Venkatesh walked into an .

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How do the Black Kings differ from other gangs – past and present? He writes for Slate. He calls himself a “rogue sociologist”.

I wanted to scream at him, “You’re a damn fool Sudhir, come on! It was supposed to be pure sociology but turned out to be gonzo journalism. One can either have a society where the Rule of Law is enforced, or one where the Law of Power is enforced.

The reality is — everyone loves reading, but no one has the time. Our relationship was transactional at the core. In the venkxtesh where I grew up, I never knew my neighbors and democracy was something we read about in textbooks.

Zuckerberg’s Year of Books in 5 Minutes: What you Really Need to Know About Gang Leader for a Day

Thanks sudjir telling us about the problem. The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto. In fairness, the whole ‘rogue sociologist’ thing could be a marketing ploy – Freakonomics’ subtitle refers to a ‘rogue economist.

There were police officers that would come into the buildings and beat drug dealers, then raid their apartments, stealing their drugs and their money, but without issuing an arrest. Open Preview See a Problem? I think this is irresponsible, and it does little to engender trust with the readers.

We learn that JT is a college grad who left the corporate world because he wasn’t making enough money and goes back to the neighborhood to rise within the ranks of the gang.

Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh | : Books

View all 47 comments. Over Easter weekend that year, the estate had sudhi firearms incidents and seen the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ shooting of two young lovers from blocks controlled by rival gangs, the Cobras and Disciples. I guess by the time U of C found out what he was doing, it was too late?


It takes a long time for a society to build out leeader that; such a society cannot easily be put back together. If you haven’t been to Chicago — I’ll paint this picture for you: I do believe people can create friendships across socioeconomic lines. The CHA wouldn’t conduct repairs when most tenants called, but they accepted bribes from some of the “building leaders” in exchange for vaguely explained services.

Ransford Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. For that reason alone I had been looking forward to reading this book. This book focuses on the “gray area” suxhir society as a whole.

Venkatesh’s mere presence appears to feed J. The project seemed like a fraud, intellectually and emotionally.

At home with the Black Kings

Reading this book helped me better understand the piracy in Somalia and why we are unlikely to see it eliminated in our lifetimes. Many of them did not have cars. He finds a professor who wants to study the poor after venturing out into the southside neighborhoods of Chicago and deciding he wants to do something in that vein.

The Sudhir Venkatesh on the book jacket, in his vintage leather coat with the collar up, arms folded in tough guy stance in front of derelict seeming housing projects slightly out of focus in the back ground, seems like a wannabe bad ass. I would’ve been interested in that. The more amazing stories though are those of the people actually living there.

His aspirations about gang life are petty and superficial 4. I was young, naive, and the book is about a process of self-transformation. This book goes way beyond the gangs and lets the readers into the inner workings of a part of society many would prefer to sweep under the carpet. Living on Almost Nothing in America.

Download the Blinkist app. The Chicago political machine is alive and well, even in the ‘hood.

I still remember when the Robert Taylor homes were torn down and some of the tenants were dispersed near my hometown of Skokie, so to learn about their previous life was fascinating and humbling. If you live in Chicago, or have any interest in the lives of poor people in cities in the US you must read this book.


This is a model that the middle and upper classes in America are far enough removed from that they don’t understand it. Venkatesh knew that JT and his gang “taxed” all the residents who used the building as sudhif place to make money — and JT was apparently unaware of many of these schemes.

This is not to say that it daay bleak or a slog. Dya, their hallways were outside. If you’re willing to give him the benefit of a significant doubt, Venkatesh’s early ignorance of the danger that he encounters is plausible.

My son and I looked at the scenery we were tourists and chatted and saw the man next to me writing in a notebook. But the scenery is politics and most of this occurs with the blessing of the immediate authorities and absence of what emerges as the most powerful gang of all – the police department.

Venkatesb first book, American Project: Gang Leader For a Day: Drive-bys, not so much. In between he befriends the residents of the ghetto, listening to their stories,interacting in their lives and humanizing them in the process. Our society has collective Attention Deficit Disorder.

Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh – Reading Guide – : Books

As a grad student in sociology, Sudhir Venkatesh naively walked into a Chicago public housing project with the aim of researching urban poverty. Although it’s nonfiction, the book reads like a narrative and it’s incredibly engaging and page-turning suspenseful. He also mentioned many times feeling guilty for letting J.