Getting Ghost: Two Young Lives and the Struggle for the Soul of an American City-Luke Bergmann

  • Title: Getting Ghost: Two Young Lives and the Struggle for the Soul of an American City
  • Author: Luke Bergmann
  • Released: 2010-09-08
  • Language:
  • Pages: 332
  • ISBN: 0472034367
  • ISBN13: 978-0472034369
  • ASIN: 0472034367


From Hoping to do research on community reintegration of youth who have served time in juvenile detention, Bergmann worked as an unpaid intern with a juvenile detention facility. But after listening to the youth talk about the circumstances that brought them to the facility, he ventured out into their world of street drug trafficking in Detroit. He learned that drug dealing governed the lives of the young black men he met, providing structure and income and teaching them about power and capitalism, even life and death. Living in a west side neighborhood devastated by the riots of 1967, Bergmann was able to penetrate the world of young men who talked about “getting ghost,” or drifting in and out of the drug trade. He chronicles the drug trading, the risks and rewards, and the demarcations between the city and suburbs even as he witnessed suburbanites come into the city to buy drugs. Bergmann puts the lives of the young men he met in the broader context of changes in American cities and the economy since the 1960s and the hypersegregation of many poor black neighborhoods. --Vanessa Bush --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review What a terrific book. Getting Ghost reminds us that the Rustbelt is still a place to find America—and the American dream. Luke Bergmann sometimes risks life and limb to bring us first-hand the lives of young people who mainstream media and academic research have ignored—except for the occasional crime story or impersonal policy brief. Getting Ghost is a journey worth taking, though you may want to grab hold along the way. It sets a new standard for documentary reportage. —Sudhir Venkatesh, author of Gang Leader for a Day and Off the Books

In prose that is equally eloquent and enlightening, Luke Bergmann brings to surface the lives of two young men living in a place that is regarded by too many people as a forgotten city. Getting Ghost makes a profound intellectual statement—that one must account for the specificity of place, family and social relations, individual agency, and economy in order to understand the lifeworlds of young men who live in disadvantage while striving to take control of their lives. —Alford A. Young, Jr, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Associate Professor, Sociology and Afro-American and African Studies, University of Michigan

This sensitive and brave book takes readers into the tragedy of deindustrialization and ethnic discrimination in America to reveal the lives of those trapped in the illegal drug economy. Bergmann forces us to face the contradictions of drugs, discrimination, and poverty in our heartland. —Philippe Bourgois, author of In Search of Respect

This is an eloquent, moving narrative account of the lives of Dude, Rodney, and other young men who trade drugs, love their family and friends, dream of ordinary lives, and navigate a maze of violence, detention, jail time, and early death in turn of millennium Detroit. Luke whose vivid, gritty, dialogic writing serves as a model for us all. —Susan Harding, author of The Book of Jerry Falwell

parachute into bombed-out urban districts and write movingly of the ills they discover, but quite another for Bergmann to note about one of his adolescent subjects that the boy was locked up for possibly shooting someone on a corner personal engagement that gives such resonance to his account of several years spent monitoring the lives of two teenage drug dealers....

Not just illustrative and emotive, this pummeling, immersive social text is grounded in street-level reportage and seeded with wisdom.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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