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Download Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets Audiobook, by Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, Sudhir Venkatesh Narrator: Reg Rogers, Stephen J. Dubner Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2008 ISBN: 9780061629235
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The story of the young sociologist who studied a Chicago crack-dealing gang from the inside captured the world's attention when it was first described in Freakonomics. Gang Leader for a Day is the fascinating full story of how Sudhir Venkatesh managed to gain entrée into the gang, what he learned, and how his method revolutionized the academic establishment.

When Venkatesh walked into an abandoned building in one of Chicago's most notorious housing projects, he was looking for people to take a multiple-choice survey on urban poverty. A first-year grad student, he would befriend a gang leader named JT and spend the better part of the next decade inside the projects under JT's protection, documenting what he saw there.

Over the next seven years, Venkatesh observed JT and the rest of the gang as they operated their crack selling business, conducted PR within their community, and rose up or fell within the ranks of the gang's complex organizational structure.

Gang Leader for a Day is an inside view into the morally ambiguous, highly intricate, often corrupt struggle to survive in an urban war zone. It is also the story of a complicated friendship between two young and ambitious men, a universe apart.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Whether you enjoy fiction, history, or biography you'll be drawn to Venkatesh's gripping retelling of his experiences…Gang Leader for a Day poignantly reminds us that there continue to be separate and unequal Americas that ultimately impact us all.” 

    Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. 

  • “The achievement of Gang Leader for a Day is to give the dry statistics a raw, beating heart.” 

    Boston Globe

  • “Compelling…Venkatesh gives readers a window into a way of life that few Americans understand.” 


  • “Reg Rogers’ mix of distance and emotion is a perfect vehicle for the author’s story of his experiences as a young Chicago sociologist who hangs with the Black Kings gang to understand the role of poverty in their lives.”   


  • “Venkatesh writes of his harrowing, exhilarating fieldwork with the great pride and insatiable curiosity of a seasoned news reporter…A dark, revealing exposé.” 

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Audio Publisher’s Association “Audie” Award
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • An Audie Award Finalist
  • A Economist Best Book
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About the Author

Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh is professor of sociology and African American studies at Columbia University.

About the Narrator

Stephen J. Dubner is an award-winning author, journalist, and radio and television personality. He is best known for his books Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics, which have sold more than five million copies in thirty-five languages. The Freakonomics enterprise also includes an award-winning blog, a high-profile documentary film, and a public radio project called Freakonomics Radio, which Dubner hosts. He lives in New York with his family.