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The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League

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The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League Cover

 

Staff Pick

On one level, The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace is about unfulfilled potential and heartbreaking loss, but more importantly it deals with the pressure we all feel to succeed and be happy in an increasingly competitive society. It is a beautiful eulogy to a friend and an accurate portrayal of what it means to be young, talented, and conflicted.
Recommended by Shawn D., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A heartfelt, and riveting biography of the short life of a talented young African-American man who escapes the slums of Newark for Yale University only to succumb to the dangers of the streetsand#8212;and of oneand#8217;s own natureand#8212;when he returns home.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;When author Jeff Hobbs arrived at Yale University, he became fast friends with the man who would be his college roommate for four years, Robert Peace. Robertand#8217;s life was rough from the beginning in the crime-ridden streets of Newark in the 1980s, with his father in jail and his mother earning less than $15,000 a year. But Robert was a brilliant student, and it was supposed to get easier when he was accepted to Yale, where he studied molecular biochemistry and biophysics. But it didnand#8217;t get easier. Robert carried with him the difficult dual nature of his existence, and#8220;frontingand#8221; in Yale, and at home.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Through an honest rendering of Robertand#8217;s relationshipsand#8212;with his struggling mother, with his incarcerated father, with his teachers and friends and fellow drug dealersand#8212;andlt;Iandgt;The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peaceandlt;/Iandgt; encompasses the most enduring conflicts in America: race, class, drugs, community, imprisonment, education, family, friendship, and love. Itand#8217;s about the collision of two fiercely insular worldsand#8212;the ivy-covered campus of Yale University and Newark, New Jersey, and the difficulty of going from one to the other and then back again. Itand#8217;s about poverty, the challenges of single motherhood, and the struggle to find male role models in a community where a man is more likely to go to prison than to college. Itand#8217;s about reaching oneand#8217;s greatest potential and taking responsibility for your family no matter the cost. Itand#8217;s about trying to live a decent life in America. But most all the story is about the tragic life of one singular brilliant young man. His end, a violent one, is heartbreaking and powerful and unforgettable.

Review:

"A man with seemingly every opportunity loses his way in this compelling biographical saga. Novelist Hobbs (The Tourists) chronicles the life of Peace, who was born in a Newark, N.J., ghetto to an impoverished single mom and a father who went to prison for murder. Thanks to his mother's sacrifices and his extraordinary intellect he went to Yale and got a biology degree but when he returned to Newark after college, he became a drug dealer and was eventually shot to death by rivals. Writing with novelistic detail and deep insight, Hobbs, who was Peace's roommate at Yale, registers the disadvantages his friend faced while avoiding hackneyed fatalism and sociology. Hobbs reveals a man whose singular experience and charisma made him simultaneously an outsider and a leader in both New Haven and Newark, Peace was a pillar of his family and community, superbly capable in both settings, but he could not reconcile their conflicting demands. (The author's indelible portrait of Peace's inner-city neighborhood shows how it could draw him back from the world his talent and education had opened.) This is a classic tragedy of a man who, with the best intentions, chooses an ineluctable path to disaster. Photos. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Jeff Hobbs graduated with a BA in English language and literature from Yale in 2002, where he was awarded the Willets and Meeker prizes for his writing. Hobbs spent three years in New York and Tanzania while working with the African Rainforest Conservancy. He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781476731902
Author:
Hobbs, Jeff
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
Subject:
Featured Titles-History and Social Science
Subject:
Robert DeShaun Peace; Yale; Newark; Ivy League; New Jersey; tragedy; drug dealing; marijuana; Newark 1980s; race issues; socioeconomic disparty; class struggle; drugs; prison; single motherhood; priviledge; drug murders; Newark gangs; biography; The Touri
Subject:
Robert DeShaun Peace; Yale; Newark; Ivy League; New Jersey; tragedy; drug dealing; marijuana; Newark 1980s; race issues; socioeconomic disparty; class struggle; drugs; prison; single motherhood; priviledge; drug murders; Newark gangs; biography; The Touri
Subject:
Robert DeShaun Peace; Yale; Newark; Ivy League; New Jersey; tragedy; drug dealing; marijuana; Newark 1980s; race issues; socioeconomic disparty; class struggle; drugs; prison; single motherhood; priviledge; drug murders; Newark gangs; biography; The Touri
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20140931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
10 illus. throughout
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
228.6 x 152.4 mm

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Sociology » Social Classes
History and Social Science » Sociology » Violence in Society

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League New Hardcover
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Product details 416 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9781476731902 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

On one level, The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace is about unfulfilled potential and heartbreaking loss, but more importantly it deals with the pressure we all feel to succeed and be happy in an increasingly competitive society. It is a beautiful eulogy to a friend and an accurate portrayal of what it means to be young, talented, and conflicted.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A man with seemingly every opportunity loses his way in this compelling biographical saga. Novelist Hobbs (The Tourists) chronicles the life of Peace, who was born in a Newark, N.J., ghetto to an impoverished single mom and a father who went to prison for murder. Thanks to his mother's sacrifices and his extraordinary intellect he went to Yale and got a biology degree but when he returned to Newark after college, he became a drug dealer and was eventually shot to death by rivals. Writing with novelistic detail and deep insight, Hobbs, who was Peace's roommate at Yale, registers the disadvantages his friend faced while avoiding hackneyed fatalism and sociology. Hobbs reveals a man whose singular experience and charisma made him simultaneously an outsider and a leader in both New Haven and Newark, Peace was a pillar of his family and community, superbly capable in both settings, but he could not reconcile their conflicting demands. (The author's indelible portrait of Peace's inner-city neighborhood shows how it could draw him back from the world his talent and education had opened.) This is a classic tragedy of a man who, with the best intentions, chooses an ineluctable path to disaster. Photos. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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