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The Hustle: One Team and Ten Lives in Black and Whiteby Doug Merlino
Synopses & Reviews
An experiment dreamed up by two fathers, one white, one black. Poor black kids and rich white kids together on one basketball team. An opportunity for the black kids to earn a chance at a private school education. A way for the privileged white kids to learn about life's other side. The whole notion was a corny fantasy come to life. The ragtag bunch gelled and won a state title. The boys all became fast friends.
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? The Hustle weaves together their stories in a breathtaking narrative. Their passages through the gauntlet of American reality sharply capture just how much race, money, and wealth affect our lives.
Damian is a minister and a teacher. JT struggles to support two daughters. Tyrell was murdered. Dino, the son of immigrants, now runs a hedge fund. Myran, the team clown, faces ten years in prison for his role in a forty-dollar drug deal. Sean, another goofball, is now a tough-on-crime prosecutor. Doug, a benchwarmer, is a writer trying to make sense of his teammate's lives.
The Hustle is an instant classic of narrative nonfiction. Ten lives are masterfully painted against a background of broad social and economic change, with the city of Seattle becoming a character in its own right. A tale both personal and public, The Hustle is required reading for fans of The Corner, the Up Series films, or The Last Shot.
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.
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