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Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and Americaby Paul Tough
Synopses & Reviews
What would it take?
That was the question that Geoffrey Canada found himself asking. What would it take to change the lives of poor children—not one by one, through heroic interventions and occasional miracles, but in big numbers, and in a way that could be replicated nationwide? The question led him to create the Harlem Childrens Zone, a ninety-seven-block laboratory in central Harlem where he is testing new and sometimes controversial ideas about poverty in America. His conclusion: if you want poor kids to be able to compete with their middle-class peers, you need to change everything in their lives—their schools, their neighborhoods, even the child-rearing practices of their parents.
Whatever It Takes is a tour de force of reporting, an inspired portrait not only of Geoffrey Canada but of the parents and children in Harlem who are struggling to better their lives, often against great odds. Carefully researched and deeply affecting, this is a dispatch from inside the most daring and potentially transformative social experiment of our time.
An intriguing portrait of African-American activist Geoffrey Canada, creator of the Harlem Children's Zone, describes his radical new approach to eliminating inner-city poverty, one that proposes to transform the lives of poor children by changing their schools, their families, and their neighborhoods at the same time.
About the Author
Paul Tough is an editor at the New York Times Magazine and one of America's foremost writers on poverty, education, and the achievement gap. His reporting on Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem Children's Zone originally appeared as a Times Magazine cover story. He lives with his wife in New York City.
Table of Contents
The lottery — Unequal childhoods — Baby college — Contamination — Battle mode — Bad apples — Last chance — The conveyor belt — Escape velocity — Graduation — What would it take?
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