This book has 2 recommendations
Mark Zuckerberg (Founder / Facebook)
I'm still working my way through The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, which is an amazing book so far — about how violence has declined throughout history due to effective governance, the growth of commerce and the spread of ideas.
I see a lot of Facebook's work in these themes. The more we all have a voice to share our perspectives, the more empathy we have for each other and the more we respect each other's rights. Similarly, the more we benefit from global commerce and the services others provide us, the greater our incentive is to keep each other safe as it improves our lives.
Gang Leader for a Day is loosely related to the themes Better Angels in that it explores what life is like for those who don't live under effective governance. I'm looking forward to reading this and finishing up Better Angels.
Gabriel Coarna (Founder / Readable)
Sudhir Venkatesh's "Gangleader For A Day" significantly adjusted how I think about a bunch of stuff: poverty, economics, society, etc.
The story of the young sociologist who studied a Chicago crack-dealing gang from the inside captured the world's attention when it was first described in Freakonomics. Gang Leader for a Day is the fascinating full story of how Sudhir Venkatesh managed to gain entrance into the gang, what he learned, and how his method revolutionized the academic establishment. When Venkatesh walked into an abandoned building in one of Chicago's most notorious housing projects, he was looking for people to take a multiple-choice survey on urban poverty.
A first-year grad student hoping to impress his professors with his boldness, he never imagined that as a result of the assignment he would befriend a gang leader named JT and spend the better part of a decade inside the projects under JT's protection, documenting what he saw there. Over the next seven years, Venkatesh got to know the neighborhood dealers, crackheads, squatters, prostitutes, pimps, activists, cops, organizers, and officials.
From his privileged position of unprecedented access, he observed JT and the rest of the gang as they operated their crack-selling business, conducted PR within their community, and rose up or fell within the ranks of the gang's complex organizational structure. In Hollywood-speak, Gang Leader for a Day is The Wire meets Harvard University. It's a brazen, page turning, and fundamentally honest view into the morally ambiguous, highly intricate, often corrupt struggle to survive in what is tantamount to an urban war zone. It is also the story of a complicated friendship between Sudhir and JT-two young and ambitious men a universe apart.