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The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood Paperback – Jun 15 1998


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The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood + Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets + The Corner
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (June 15 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767900316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767900317
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 3 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #59,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Amazon

This startling look at desperate, drug-addled inner-city lives ranks as one of the grittiest--and best--examinations of underclass America available. Like Alex Kotlowitz's There Are No Children Here and Leon Dash's Rosa Lee, The Corner shines light on a horrific subculture of addiction, crime, dependency, and violence. Authors David Simon (who wrote Homicide, the book that inspired the TV series of the same name) and Edward Burns (a former cop) are muckraking reporters who operate in the finest tradition of American journalism. They spent an entire year on the corner of Fayette and Monroe in West Baltimore, getting to know its open-air drug market and its people. Although the authors present strong evidence that the so-called war on drugs cannot be won, The Corner has no political agenda. It is simply a powerful testament to the bleak situation confronting many urban neighborhoods. At once deeply unsettling and extremely rewarding, this humane book deserves a wide audience. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

This portrayal of a year in drug-crazed west Baltimore will satisfy neither readers looking for a perceptive witness to the urban crisis nor those in search of social analysis. Simon (Homicide, LJ 6/1/91), a crime reporter, and Burns, a Baltimore police veteran and public school teacher, mask their presence in the scene with an omniscient style that strains credibility, and the chronological framework blunts the impact of their most compelling themes. The authors salute the courageous but futile efforts of individual parents, educators, and police officers but deny the possibility of a social solution to the devastation they acknowledge is rooted in social policy. A more compelling account is Our America: Life and Death (LJ 6/1/97) on the South Side of Chicago, based on interviews conducted by 13-year-old public housing residents LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman in 1993. For larger public libraries. (Photos not seen..
-?Paula Dempsey, Loyola Univ., Chicago
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Fat Curt is on the corner. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 5 1999
Format: Paperback
I am a white suburban woman who began to read this book to learn about a life that is very different from my own and because I wanted to learn about the IV drug culture, having a cousin who shot drugs in NYC for 15 years. This book should be read by anyone who thinks that have the answer to the ills of the city, or education, or healthcare, or poverty or whatever. They will quickly see that the problems that plague our inner cities are much like trying to treat a cancer in the human body: you can't try and single out or isolate one specific problem area and try to fix it. You need to look at the entire system, taking into account the interconnectedness of these problems when you try and come up with a solution.
It is naive and utterly foolish to think that you can isolate the issues of the city and solve them independently- you can't. I urge anyone who has any influence over public policy of any kind to spend a few days and read this book. It will forever alter your view on how to "fix" the problems of neighborhoods like these and make you realize you are up against something that is much bigger than it appears. And policy makers: it is not as easy as as having a war on drugs. You need to start by bringing a thriving economic job base back into our cities so people have the opportunity to become meaningfully employed and can try and have a chance at life. When you strip away one's economic opportunities- you are cutting off their blood supply. It is just that simple. A MUST READ FOR ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS IN THE USA!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By valerie miles-graves on March 31 2000
Format: Paperback
this book took me back to an area i grew-up in and escaped from in my early 20s. I've known many persons such as the characters in this book. They are real and do exist unfortantly. I am now employed and daily working with the court system in Baltimore, Maryland where I grew up. I know that some of these characters lives have not changed for the better at least because i've seen them in court. I know that the areas are worse than before because I visit them to do home visits for my job, and I know that the police still perform as they did when the book was written, and Baltimore's crime rate remains the same. Sad as it is, ther are still no real solutions to the problem that the arthors wrote about, and the corners are still in existance, but the players, or shall I say victims are becoming younger everyday. The faces are new and the conditions are worse. The Corner, in my opinion is a powerful story. Unlike some readers, I at times had to but it down, collect myself, and then pick it up at a latter time. To be in it, but not of it was hard and always is. To see that someone else has taken the time to witness it and but it into story is heartwrenching. I know these characters, feel for them, cry for them, and each day I pray for them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Aug. 24 2000
Format: Paperback
WEll i first want to start off by saying that this book was amazon and i actually saw the movie on hbo first then it made me go out and pick up the book.I just wish there could have been more scenes thats how much i enjoyed it. I also want to know is there going to be any more parts added like when they come to visit their old neighborhood to visit thier old friends the ones that are still alive and they try to help them as well. There needs to another episode with the titled of "THE CORNER": THE VISIT OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT BECAUSE THAT WAS TO GOOD AND SO REAL BECAUSE THERE ARE ALOT OF FAMILIES THAT GO TROUGH THE SAME EXACT PROBLEMS SO THAT ALL I HAD TO SAY AND WHAT I THINK ABOUT IT BUT TRY THINKING ABOUT ANOTHER PART BECAUSE I KNOW THIS WAS BASED ON A TRUE STORY TO BUT AS I SAID BEFORE IT WAS GRET I LOVED AND IM STILL WAITING ON THEM TO SHOW SOME REPEATS ON HBO IT WAS TO GOOD. THANK YOU
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Feb. 19 1999
Format: Paperback
As a social worker in Baltimore, I have the opportunity to work with this social class of people. One of my clients spotted the book and became instantly interested. He knew all the people in the book, and lived right smack in the corner of the open air drug market. After talking with him, he said the book was extremely accurate - And yes the names are real. Blue is no longer at the house (it's another abandon rowhouse). Fat Curt has passed away. And yes - even with all the publicity, the users and dealers are still there. This is an excellent view of what life is like out htere. We are mostly outsiders and will never truely understand, but this book gets you just a little bit closer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 23 1999
Format: Paperback
I grew up in that neighborhood and many of my relatives still live there today. I believe I'm qualified to say that Simon's portrait of West Baltimore life is extremely accurate. However, the authors could have presented the complete story, Fat Curt wasn't always the soulless junky that Simon highlighted, he had a family and friends, I was one of them.
Athletic talents got me out, but what of those that can't shoot a ball, or rap, or those that have to attend a West Baltimore public school. Life is tough in the ghetto, I think everyone knows that. Now Simon needs to write a book of solutions to the problem that he so profoundly explained.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Len TOP 100 REVIEWER on Jan. 11 2009
Format: Paperback
The Corner is about life on the corners of inner-city Baltimore, also the setting for the series, The Wire written by the same two men. It follows the life of drug addicts living one day to the next, their entire existence driven by the snake that boils in their bellies, leading its host to steal from strangers, friends and loved ones for the rush provided by the drugs that will feed the beast. Some are addicted just to heroine, some to coke, most a combination of the two, the infamous speedball. The book documents the life of the addicts and the sad victims of their addiction, their parents and their children: parents with adult children dependent on them for food and shelter interested only in maintaining a habit that is destroying both their minds and bodies; children who must raise themselves because no one cares if they go to school, have a decent meal or get to bed at night. These children who do not attend school go to the where they feel most welcome, hanging out with their peers. These children become runners for the dealers, then dealers and the users, just like their parents, a sad, inevitable story that politicians and citizenry have no will to change. The authors spent an entire year living on the corner, surreptitiously taking notes, and getting to know the people. The result is a work of excellent journalism and good writing that makes for a compelling read.
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