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Ghettonation: A Journey Into the Land of Bling and Home of the Shameless Hardcover – Unabridged, March 20, 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this cheeky, heartfelt and hip exploration of all things "ghetto," author and journalist Daniels (Black Power, Inc.) begins by mocking Paris Hilton's use of the term on reality TV and works her way into an empathetic, insightful consideration of what Americans mean-and what they should mean-when they call something "ghetto." She approaches the topic through interviews with people from all walks of life: "knuckleheads" on her corner in Brooklyn, friends and coworkers, academics, high-school students and anyone else willing to converse on this complex, potentially troublesome subject. The result is not an academic analysis; rather, nostalgia, outrage, humor and bewilderment stand front and center, along with personal investment (beginning in earnest with her prologue, "I am Ghetto"). The result is a work quite different from that of other race writers such as Cornell West or Michael Eric Dyson; Daniels' casual, extemporaneous tone keeps this sophisticated work accessible to a wide audience who might not be willing to engage a more academic offering. Despite Daniels's sometimes flip approach (playful "That's So Ghetto" lists end each chapter), those looking for more substantial analysis will not be disappointed, especially in her later chapters.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Daniels, author of Black Power Inc. (2004), focuses on the ghetto, not as a place but as a mind-set. Thanks to the profit motives of corporate America, the ghetto as a mind-set, reflecting values and lifestyles, has gone mainstream. From the Ivy League-educated movie star who lauds women learning to work poles like strippers to the white multimillionaire who denies parentage when the DNA test proves he's the "baby daddy," Daniels highlights the crossover trend of "being ghetto." She also explores the intraracial complexities of being ghetto among blacks, noting that actions and values are more determinative than economic status. Daniels is at her best when she examines the substantial class-induced conditions that generate hopelessness and low expectations that fuse the ghetto mind-set and the need to address the social conditions that produce the ghetto culture. Daniels cautions that when urban cultural genius marries capitalism, the result is popularizing and mass marketing of the kind of behavior that causes those with more middle-class sensibilities to cringe. This is a compelling look at modern cultural forces. Vernon Ford
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (March 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385516436
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385516433
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.9 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,922,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Some weeks ago I watched as a mainstream television newscaster referred to the police as the "po po's," a term that is, at this moment used by inner city youth. It's obvious that when such language becomes "accepted" by the mainstream, the words are on their way out...or are they?

Author Cora Daniels would probably say that such usage is further indication of the ghettonization of America and she's more than likely correct. In her amusing and thought-provoking book, the writer exposes all the aspects of American society that reflects how the ghetto mentality flourishes. She sites the entertainment industry, Madison Avenue, professional sports, as well as the everyday instances wherein that which we once thought was only a part of the inner city has become commonplace.

As entertaining as the book is, she hits hard when she challenges readers to consider her words and take action in order to stop or, at least, slow down the spread of "ghettoism" in this nation.

This is a definite "must read" for all Americans that want to understand what's going, not just with the young people, but among us all as we fall further and further into the rationale of the street.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book. A must read for all "intelligent" minds to help enlighten "the ignorant". Ghetto Nation has a bold, in-depth look into what is now considered "American culture", intellectually exposing all the major, as well as minor flaws in our modern society. At the same time, reminding the reader that this a documentary piece, meant to entertain and educate, not discriminate and separate.

I pretty much caught on to the book through a blog on the author Cora Daniels, with Ghetto Nation as the controversial topic. Sho-nuff, there were enough respones made in all "ghetto" manner, where to me, clearly made "Ghetto Nation" a subject worth much more interest. Living and working in "ghetto environments" often made me wonder why as a young, Black American, I felt (no offense to who's reading)"trapped" in the very surroundings I should feel proud to call "home". Reading this book let me know that I wasn't alone.

For the first time in my life, Ghetto Nation was a book that I've read from cover to cover, almost non-stop, and finsihed in under a week. (I feel so proud of myself)All chapters were highly intriguing, yet some things do stand out. For me, my favorite highlights were the intro, which gives you the complete breakdown of the word "ghetto". Also, Chapter 4, talking about modern-day relationships, Chapter 5, discussing the (sort-of)"loss" of families in America, and Chapter 6, (this is a fun one)where you kinda eavesdrop on what's now a "typical" conversation across the ghettos of our great nation. Without a doubt, the best highlight, as anyone who reads the book will tell you, are the "That's So Ghetto" lists.

Cora Daniels is a great author, and a great journalist. I plan on collecting all of her books already on shelves, and in the works. You MUST read Ghetto Nation, It's definitely a converation piece worth talking about to your peers.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a book that I've been wanting to read every since it's 2007 release. I finally read it and enjoyed some of it. Overall, I felt that this book wasn't anything more than a very entertaining, hilarious and sometimes truthful rant. "Ghettonation" is a book that will spark up a conversation and while she makes a few good points, it's very obvious that Cora Daniels has a very disturbing, perspicuous cynicism about life in general. I say this because everything is ghetto to her.

Like Juan Williams (the author of "Enough!"), Daniels champions Bill Cosby for his "call-outs", but unlike Williams, she doesn't give explanations for why Dr. Cosby has said the things that he has said within the past several years. She starts out by saying that "ghetto is not limited to a class or a race" (although no other race of people considers any person or thing "ghetto" but black people). But who came up with the term to begin with? Besides, everyone has their own definitions as to what ghetto is and what ghetto is not. Throughout this book, she discusses the decline of the black family structure, the ugly realities of ghetto life, pop culture that black youth has chose to embrace (some of which was started by the "Pimps & Hoes" lifestyle of the 1970s), rap music videos, ghetto rap lyrics & love songs, lack of accountability, lack of discipline, children born out of wedlock, basic family values and misogynistic rap lyrics. She discusses black youths who are mentally ahead of their time, who also do not respect authoritarian figures and who memorize rap lyrics but have no idea about their own cultural or ancestral history.
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Format: Hardcover
If you're looking for a book fitting for an armchair sociologist...this is not the one. If you're looking to finally read something that speaks to something inside you; put words to that holy discontent that groans to articulate that there is something indeed wrong about our society at every class level and in every racial circle (period)...this IS the book for you. Cora Daniels is a master at taking very complex feelings, emotions, philosophies, psychological theories, and countless volumes of sociological and behavioral research and making it plain. This book is one for the ages that (just like her first book, "Black Power, Inc.") I will force my teenage children, neices, nephews, colleagues, friends, my wife, etc. to read. In fact, I've already asked my mother (60 yrs old), brother (26 yrs old), and close friend (30 yrs old) to buy it and read it ASAP. This book crystallizes conversations many people nationwide have on a daily basis, but helps invoke what is probably at the core of what they're trying to express in their attempts to make sense of the driving force behind this country's mayhem. It's very simple: America is...GHETTO!
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