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Description: A provocative and compelling study of how jobs, schools, and prison shaped the lives and choices of a generation of Puerto Rican youth at the turn of the twenty-first century. At the center of this riveting bookbased on an unprecedented eighteen-year studyare three engaging, streetwise brothers from Springfield, Massachusetts: Fausto, incarcerated for seven years and in and out of drug treatment, an insightful and sensitive street warrior playing on the edges of self-destruction; Julio, the family patriarch, a former gang member turned truck driver, fiercely loyal to his brothers, family, and friends; and Sammy, a street maven, father of four, straddling two realmsthe everyday world of low-wage work and the allure of the drug economyas he shuttles between recovery and relapse. Timothy Black spent years with the brothers and their parents, wives and girlfriends, extended family, coworkers, criminal partners, friends, teachers, lawyers, and case workers. He closely observed the drug trade in Springfield, as well as street life; schools and GED programs; courtrooms, prisons, and treatment programs; and the young men's struggle for employment both on- and off-the-books. The brothers, articulate and determined, speak for themselves, providing powerful testimony to the exigencies of life lived on the social and economic margins. The result is a singularly detailed and empathetic portrait of men who are often regarded with fear or simply rendered invisible by society. With profound lessons regarding the intersection of social forces and individual choices, Black succeeds in putting a human face on some of the most important public policy issues of our time.