Sudhir Venkatesh, the sociology grad student who infiltrated one of Chicago's most notorious gangs, studying a crack-dealing gang from the insider. Subtitled A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets, Venkatesh's book describes how he managed to gain entree into the gang, what he learned, and how his method revolutionized the academic establishment.
Initially looking for people within a notorious housing project to take a multiple-choice survey on urban poverty, Venkatesh never imagined that as a result of that graduate assignment he would befriend a gang leader and spend the better part of a decade inside the projects under JT's protection, documenting what he saw there. His report is a brazen, page-turning, and fundamentally honest view into the morally ambiguous, highly intricate, often corrupt struggle to survive in what is tantamount to an urban war zone. And it's also the story of a complicated friendship between Sudhir and JT - two young and ambitious men a universe apart.