9780307454874

When a Heart Turns Rock Solid: The Lives of Three Puerto Rican Brothers On and Off the Streets

Black, Timothy

ISBN 10: 0307454878 / 0-307-45487-8
ISBN 13: 9780307454874
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: 2010
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
A WASHINGTON POST BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

This provocative and compelling book examines how jobs, schools, the streets, and prisons have shaped the lives and choices of a generation of Puerto Rican youth at the turn of the twenty-first century.

At the center of this riveting account–based on an unprecedented eighteen-year study–are three engaging, streetwise brothers from Springfield, Massachusetts: Fausto, incarcerated for seven years and in and out of drug treatment, an insightful and sensitive street warrior playing on the edges of self-destruction; Julio, the family patriarch, a former gang member turned truck driver, fiercely loyal to his family and friends; and Sammy, a street maven, recovering drug addict, father of four, straddling two realms–the everyday world of low-wage work and the allure of the drug economy–as he shuttles between recovery and relapse.

Timothy Black spent years with the brothers and their parents, wives and girlfriends, extended family, coworkers, criminal partners, friends, teachers, lawyers, and case workers. He closely observed street life in Springfield, including the drug trade; schools and GED programs; courtrooms, prisons, and drug treatment programs; and the young men’s struggle for employment both on and off the books. The brothers, articulate and determined, speak for themselves, providing powerful testimony to the exigencies of life lived on the social and economic margins. The result is a singularly detailed and empathetic portrait of men who are often regarded with fear or simply rendered invisible by society.

With profound lessons regarding the intersection of social forces and individual choices, Black succeeds in putting a human face on some of the most important public policy issues of our time.

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Book Description: Random House USA Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 130 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. A WASHINGTON POST BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR This provocative and compelling book examines how jobs, schools, the streets, and prisons have shaped the lives and choices of a generation of Puerto Rican youth at the turn of the twenty-first century. At the center of this riveting account-based on an unprecedented eighteen-year study-are three engaging, streetwise brothers from Springfield, Massachusetts: Fausto, incarcerated for seven years and in and out of drug treatment, an insightful and sensitive street warrior playing on the edges of self-destruction; Julio, the family patriarch, a former gang member turned truck driver, fiercely loyal to his family and friends; and Sammy, a street maven, recovering drug addict, father of four, straddling two realms-the everyday world of low-wage work and the allure of the drug economy-as he shuttles between recovery and relapse. Timothy Black spent years with the brothers and their parents, wives and girlfriends, extended family, coworkers, criminal partners, friends, teachers, lawyers, and case workers. He closely observed street life in Springfield, including the drug trade; schools and GED programs; courtrooms, prisons, and drug treatment programs; and the young men s struggle for employment both on and off the books. The brothers, articulate and determined, speak for themselves, providing powerful testimony to the exigencies of life lived on the social and economic margins. The result is a singularly detailed and empathetic portrait of men who are often regarded with fear or simply rendered invisible by society. With profound lessons regarding the intersection of social forces and individual choices, Black succeeds in putting a human face on some of the most important public policy issues of our time. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780307454874

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Book Description: Vintage, 2010. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Washington PostBest Books of 2009 BooklistEditor's Choice Best Books of 2009 "Along with narrative drama, Black offers analysis. It's not dry, however. And his emphasis on Puerto Rican brothers is eye-opening. . . . These mean streets could be Piri Thomas's or Martin Scorsese's. . . . Black relies on oral history. Swaths of his book are given over to dialogue he often presents in script form. And I applaud his choice to allow the men to express themselves. . . . We hear voices we don't normally hear, and the book is filled with the poetry of the street. . . . The talk is cinematic, even when the data are not. The oddly melodious outbreaks of profanity are honest and, in their own way, poetic. These are the stories of the new America." -Luis Urrea,The Washington Post "The book succeeds because author Timothy Black make readers care about his subjects. . . . Captivating." -San Francisco Chronicle "The twisting story lines and intriguing subplots from the Rivera brothers and their peers are good enough to compete with any series on HBO." -Hartford Advocate "Through the Rivera family, Black examines the interplay of economics and social policy that has made it more difficult for low-income Americans to progress into the middle class. Black explores the troubled history of the U.S. and Puerto Rico, as well as the decline of the industrial base at a time when the nation was cracking down on crime and drug addiction. Sociology, economics, historyand powerful human emotionsare all layered in this fascinating look at poverty and the life of one American family." Booklist(starred review) "A sociologist examines the lives of marginalized Puerto Rican youths in Springfield, Mass., connecting their stories to the economic, cultural and political factors that shaped them. . . . The author's clear portraits of his subjects, his empathy for them, his pride in being accepted and even sometimes protected by them and his anger about the institutions and policies that have shaped their world give an immediate, powerful human dimension to their stories. An impressively long-term, diligent sociological study. . . ." Kirkus "The men in Timothy Black's alarming yet compelling book don' t stand still. They move from place to place; sometimes they are forced to move; and they are moved by traces of their own past. In a richly painted canvas, we see how profoundly history and the economy shapes the lives of these Puerto Rican brothers and how they respond to many imperfect moments." Carol B. Stack, author ofAll Our KinandCall To Home "When a Heart Turns Rock Solidis an amazing book. I couldn' t put it down. Black practically takes the reader with him into the barrios in which he conducted the study. The result is an unforgettable portrait of the everyday life and the every other day crises of poor adolescents growing up in a neighborhood in which many men end up as drug dealers and prisoners. The book is sociology and ethnography at its finest: as graphic as a documentary and as spell binding as a novel. It should be read by the general public as well as by scholars and students. In a time of widespread economic troubles, Timothy Black reminds us dramatically of how much worse the permanently poor have it every day of their lives. Black's book is a shocking reminder that the American Dream has been withheld from so many Americans." Herbert J. Gans, Robert S. Lynd Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Columbia University, and author ofImagining America in 2033 "When a Heart Turns Rock Solidwill break your heart, and it won'tand shouldn't&n. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0307454878

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Book Description: Paperback. Book Condition: New. 135mm x 25mm x 203mm. Paperback. A "WASHINGTON POST "BEST BOOK OF THE YEARThis provocative and compelling book examines how jobs, schools, the streets, and prisons have shaped the lives and choices of a generati.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 421 pages. 0.345. Bookseller Inventory # 9780307454874

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