David's Reviews > Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets

Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh
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's review
Feb 01, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: don-t-own, non-fiction
Recommended for: Ben and anyone who wants to learn more about the reality of poverty, drugs and crime

I first read about him in Freakonomics. He walked into one of the worst housing projects in Chicago, got taken hostage by a gang... and then spent nearly a decade studying the gang from the inside under the wing of its charismatic college-educated leader. The man has brass balls.

The writing is serviceable but the story it tells is fascinating. There are as many unanswered and unexplored questions as there are answered ones. I'm curious to read his book on the underground economy, which was the scholarly thesis work that grew from this experience.

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