I've never read a book that had quite this book's problem. This book's problem is-- that it's a book.
What it is, is a sermon (complete with the rolling, repetitive AA preaching style) directed at desperately poor black communities. The trouble with THAT is, pimps and drug dealers typically do not take time to read. Hardly anyone does.
Disappointment #1: False advertising. I didn't see anything on the cover that would indicate what this book really is. It is not a feel-good, pay-it-forward type book of encouragement. It is specifically directed to African Americans (or their caregivers) and is not especially relevant or targeted to any other nationality.
#2: I was really hoping to hear more from him that was personal. His struggles, his hopes... his feelings about the death of his son. This book touches on none of those things.
#3: Some of his word choice, and the battles that he picks, are self-defeating. Calling young black people "young folks" and harping for chapters on end about the base depravity of gansta rap only serves to make him sound grandfatherly and, sadly, irrelevant.
#4 Along those same lines, Cosby assumes a value system that no longer exists. Most obviously, he says that the black culture must be a two-parent culture, and that any boy who fathers a child is obligated to provide for and guide that child. Alas, he entirely fails to justify this mandate with any facts or personal testimonies. He works from the assumption that parenting is an innate good, but, sadly perhaps, this is not the common feeling among my generation.
In all, the work seemed somewhat simplistic, and a throwback to "simpler days." Not very profound, or helpful.