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The Hustle

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The Hustle Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The experiment was dreamed up by two fathers, one white, one black. What would happen, they wondered, if they mixed white players from an elite Seattle private school - famous for alums such as Microsoft's Bill Gates - and black kids from the inner city on a basketball team? Wouldn't exposure to privilege give the black kids a chance at better opportunities? Wouldn't it open the eyes of the white kids to a different side of life?
The 1986 season would be the laboratory. Out in the real world, hip-hop was going mainstream, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson ruled the NBA, and Ronald Reagan was president. In Seattle, the team's season unfolded like a perfectly scripted sports movie: the ragtag group of boys became friends and gelled together to win the league championship. The experiment was deemed a success.
But was it? How did crossing lines of class, race, and wealth affect the lives of these ten boys? Two decades later, Doug Merlino, who played on the team, returned to find his teammates. His search ranges from a prison cell to a hedge fund office, street corners to a shack in rural Oregon, a Pentecostal church to the records of a brutal murder. The result is a complex, gripping, and, at times, unsettling story.
An instant classic in the vein of Michael Apted's Up series, The Hustle tells the stories of ten teammates set before a background of sweeping social and economic change, capturing the ways race, money, and opportunity shape our lives. A tale both personal and public, The Hustle is the story a disparate group of men finding - or not finding - a place in America.

Review:

"Working on an apparently small canvas, Doug Merlino has managed to look widely and deeply into race an&d class, idealism and dead-end despair in America. This unusual combination of sensitive memoir and incisive reporting tells us a great deal about the nation we are and the one we dream of. A fascinating and haunting book." Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopolds Ghost and Bury the Chains

Review:

"[T]he heart of Merlino's story is his teammates, black and white....The book's precise focus enables troubling considerations of the role of race and class in America." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Merlino challenges racial stereotypes...and looks at whether sports really are a valuable building block in young people's lives. A very thoughtful, perceptive, and moving chronicle of the journey from adolescence to manhood." Booklist

Review:

"The book provides remarkable insight into the fortunes and misfortunes of the ten kids who shared a court but never a dream....[A]an essential read as a recent social history and personal story of America." Library Journal

Synopsis:

The integrated team was dreamed up by two dads, one white, one black. The rich white kids would learn about those less fortunate. The poor black kids could perhaps leverage their exposure to a world of privilege into coveted spots as scholarship students at Lakeside. Their ragtag team, seemingly direct from central casting, won a state championship, and the boys, for a time, became fast friends. A few of the black kids caught on at Lakeside, and the "experiment" was deemed a success.

But what became of them later on? Did their exposure to the "other side" have a positive effect, any affect at all? Tyrell Johnson was murdered in 1991. No one has ever been charged in his killing. Dino, the son of immigrants, leveraged his Lakeside connections into dotcom millions and now runs a hedge fund. Myran, the team's joker, faces ten years in prison for his role as a go-between in a $40 drug deal. Sean, another goofball, is now a tough-on-crime Republican prosecutor. Doug, one of the benchwarmers on the team, has tracked all of his teammates down. Their stories movingly capture how race, class, and fate play out in our lives better than any sociology or state-of-the-nation journalism could hope to.

In a searching narrative encounter with class and identity from the Reagan era to today, Merlino masterfully backgrounds his teammates against broad cultural and economic change. A tale both personal and public, The Hustle is a brilliant exploration of how we find a place in America.

Synopsis:

The experiment was dreamed up by two fathers, one white, one black. What would happen, they wondered, if they mixed white players from an elite Seattle private school and black kids from the inner city on a basketball team? The team's season unfolded like a perfectly scripted sports movie: The ragtag group of boys gelled together to win the league championship. The experiment was deemed a success.

But was it? How did crossing lines of class, race, and wealth affect the lives of these ten boys? Two decades later, Doug Merlino, who played on the team, returned to find his teammates. The result is a complex, gripping, and at times unsettling story. An instant classic of narrative nonfiction, The Hustle tells the stories of ten teammates set before a background of sweeping social and economic change, capturing the ways race, money, and opportunity shape our lives.

About the Author

Doug Merlino is a veteran journalist who has written for Wired, Men's Journal, Legal Affairs, and many other publications. He previously lived in Budapest after leaving Seattle. He now lives in New York with his wife.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781608192151
Author:
Merlino, Doug
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Subject:
Basketball - General
Subject:
Sports - General
Subject:
Basketball
Subject:
Central District (Seattle, Wash.) -
Subject:
Seattle (Wash.) Race relations.
Subject:
Sports
Subject:
Sports and Fitness-Basketball General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20101231
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
BandW
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » Sports
Education » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Basketball » General

The Hustle Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781608192151 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Working on an apparently small canvas, Doug Merlino has managed to look widely and deeply into race an&d class, idealism and dead-end despair in America. This unusual combination of sensitive memoir and incisive reporting tells us a great deal about the nation we are and the one we dream of. A fascinating and haunting book."
"Review" by , "[T]he heart of Merlino's story is his teammates, black and white....The book's precise focus enables troubling considerations of the role of race and class in America."
"Review" by , "Merlino challenges racial stereotypes...and looks at whether sports really are a valuable building block in young people's lives. A very thoughtful, perceptive, and moving chronicle of the journey from adolescence to manhood."
"Review" by , "The book provides remarkable insight into the fortunes and misfortunes of the ten kids who shared a court but never a dream....[A]an essential read as a recent social history and personal story of America."
"Synopsis" by , The integrated team was dreamed up by two dads, one white, one black. The rich white kids would learn about those less fortunate. The poor black kids could perhaps leverage their exposure to a world of privilege into coveted spots as scholarship students at Lakeside. Their ragtag team, seemingly direct from central casting, won a state championship, and the boys, for a time, became fast friends. A few of the black kids caught on at Lakeside, and the "experiment" was deemed a success.

But what became of them later on? Did their exposure to the "other side" have a positive effect, any affect at all? Tyrell Johnson was murdered in 1991. No one has ever been charged in his killing. Dino, the son of immigrants, leveraged his Lakeside connections into dotcom millions and now runs a hedge fund. Myran, the team's joker, faces ten years in prison for his role as a go-between in a $40 drug deal. Sean, another goofball, is now a tough-on-crime Republican prosecutor. Doug, one of the benchwarmers on the team, has tracked all of his teammates down. Their stories movingly capture how race, class, and fate play out in our lives better than any sociology or state-of-the-nation journalism could hope to.

In a searching narrative encounter with class and identity from the Reagan era to today, Merlino masterfully backgrounds his teammates against broad cultural and economic change. A tale both personal and public, The Hustle is a brilliant exploration of how we find a place in America.

"Synopsis" by ,

The experiment was dreamed up by two fathers, one white, one black. What would happen, they wondered, if they mixed white players from an elite Seattle private school and black kids from the inner city on a basketball team? The team's season unfolded like a perfectly scripted sports movie: The ragtag group of boys gelled together to win the league championship. The experiment was deemed a success.

But was it? How did crossing lines of class, race, and wealth affect the lives of these ten boys? Two decades later, Doug Merlino, who played on the team, returned to find his teammates. The result is a complex, gripping, and at times unsettling story. An instant classic of narrative nonfiction, The Hustle tells the stories of ten teammates set before a background of sweeping social and economic change, capturing the ways race, money, and opportunity shape our lives.

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