Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sep 10, 2009 - Social Science - 304 pages
12 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 Children’s 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. This e-book includes a sample chapter of HOW CHILDREN SUCCEED.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ohernaes - LibraryThing

Good review of American schooling debates, including research. The successes and failures of Geoffrey Canada's efforts to set up educational services in Harlem. He had an ambition to change everything ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - klburnside - LibraryThing

I saw this book on a shelf at the bookstore and picked it up because it was praised by Ira Glass on the cover. I then turned it over and saw additional praise from Dave Eggers and Michael Pollan. I ... Read full review

Contents

2 Unequal Childhoods
21
3 Baby College
53
4 Contamination
98
5 Battle Mode
126
6 Bad Apples
155
7 Last Chance
174
8 The Conveyor Belt
188
9 Escape Velocity
213
10 Graduation
234
11 What Would It Take
257
Back Matter
269
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

PAUL TOUGH’s last book was How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, which spent more than a year on the New York Times hardcover and paperback bestseller lists and was translated into twenty-seven languages. He is also the author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America.He is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and a regular contributor to the public-radio program This American Life. You can learn more about his work at paultough.com and follow him on Twitter @paultough.

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