From Publishers Weekly
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Booklist Editor’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.”
"This ethnographic investigation into the processes that keep so many minorities in the United States in poverty and deprviation is an extraordinary, insightful, and gripping read. . . . Black's story is well told, at times both suspenseful and heartwrenching. . . . Profound." —José Ramón Sánchez, Contemporary Sociology
“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 add...