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

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Simon and Schuster, Sep 23, 2014 - Biography & Autobiography - 406 pages
19 Reviews
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 streets—and of one’s own nature—when he returns home.

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. Robert’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 didn’t get easier. Robert carried with him the difficult dual nature of his existence, “fronting” in Yale, and at home.

Through an honest rendering of Robert’s relationships—with his struggling mother, with his incarcerated father, with his teachers and friends and fellow drug dealers—The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace encompasses the most enduring conflicts in America: race, class, drugs, community, imprisonment, education, family, friendship, and love. It’s about the collision of two fiercely insular worlds—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. It’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. It’s about reaching one’s greatest potential and taking responsibility for your family no matter the cost. It’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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - flourgirl49 - LibraryThing

This is truly a very sad story about a young man who had the potential to lead an extraordinary life but instead ended up dead at the age of 30 because of the decisions he made. Tragic and devastating. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - homeschoolmimzi - LibraryThing

This is a book I think everyone should read. If I were a sociology professor I would assign this as required reading. The book description reveals the subject matter pretty well, so I won't get into ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
28
Section 3
47
Section 4
74
Section 5
77
Section 6
102
Section 7
125
Section 8
148
Section 12
257
Section 13
284
Section 14
287
Section 15
307
Section 16
333
Section 17
335
Section 18
351
Section 19
374

Section 9
203
Section 10
205
Section 11
228
Section 20
402
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

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.

Bibliographic information