In Gang Leader for a Day, sociology professor Sudhir Venkatesh recounts his time working with the gangs and inhabitants of the Robert Taylor housing pIn Gang Leader for a Day, sociology professor Sudhir Venkatesh recounts his time working with the gangs and inhabitants of the Robert Taylor housing projects in Chicago, Illinois. The book is a look at Chicago's poorest sections during the crack epidemic. It's also a look at how underground economies work in urban settings. It's also a look at how sociology misses the humanity behind the statistics. Throughout the book Sudhir meets various gang members and slowly earns their trust to find out what really happens in gang life. By the end of the book Sudhir is introduced to a large cross-section of life in the projects and he learns that everyone involved with the projects follows the same rules of engagement that every hustler and gang leader follow. It's a worthwhile look at how a corrupt system can keep itself going hidden from even the most prying eyes. ...more
This is a great primer on the rise of collaborative culture. The book addresses how collaborative culture is changing our world. There are some very iThis is a great primer on the rise of collaborative culture. The book addresses how collaborative culture is changing our world. There are some very interesting case studies in the book including Chinese motorcycle manufacturers and Boeing. I think one of the most interesting chapters is how collaboration can be used in the workforce. The biggest problem I had with the book is that it was starting to feel outdated and it's only a few years old. I would suggest this book to any one who is interested in the subject matter, although this isn't a practical handbook on how to collaborate, but a "big think" book on what this means for the future....more
Hubert's Freaks drops the reader on the fringe of the antiquarian book market where Bob Langmuir, an obsessive book and art dealer, attempts to put toHubert's Freaks drops the reader on the fringe of the antiquarian book market where Bob Langmuir, an obsessive book and art dealer, attempts to put together a collection of material from Charlie Lucas, a former sideshow barker/performer from Times Square. Among the findings are photos from Diane Arbus and journals about running the Hubert's freak show in New York City. The winding tale that Gregory Gibson follows takes the reader from turn-of-the-century traveling shows to New York of the 1950s and 1960s, to a rare book shop in Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square. The story itself is an interesting exploration of the current antiquarian book market and museum acquisitions. The book is worth reading just to see how museums, auction houses, and collectors interact.
The writing is pedestrian and at points a little jarring. At one point the author suddenly interjects himself into the story for no reason that is important to the story of Bob Langmuir. I found the writing and the short chapters too disruptive to be completely consumed by the story of the obsessive book dealer who has a mental breakdown while trying to trace a sideshow barker's life. There was enough interesting material to keep me reading, but I never felt completely involved in the plot. It's a good read for those interested in the history of African-Americans in sideshows and the pre-Disney Times Square. ...more
The book is a young divinity graduate's attempt to identify the exact moment Generation X entered it's "dark night of the soul" and how there might beThe book is a young divinity graduate's attempt to identify the exact moment Generation X entered it's "dark night of the soul" and how there might be a possibility for a reconciliation between the traditional religious establishments and the millennial lost generation.
The book defends Gen X against the common characterizations by the baby boomers and the media that most of Gen X complains too much without a good reason (as of the writing we had no "real"wars to fight in or civil injustices to fight like the boomers). Beaudoin points out that Gen X instead had to grow up quicker than previous generations only to be met with skyrocketing costs of living and depressed wages, all of which are apt causes for a crisis in faith.
Good idea but the execution is lacking. It could have been edited a little more to have a more direct message. ...more