The Hustle

The Hustle

One Team and Ten Lives in Black and White

Book - 2011
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The experiment was dreamed up by two fathers, one white, one black. What would happen, they wondered, if they mixed white players from an elite Seattle private school - famous for alums such as Microsoft's Bill Gates - and black kids from the inner city on a basketball team? Wouldn't exposure to privilege give the black kids a chance at better opportunities? Wouldn't it open the eyes of the white kids to a different side of life?The 1986 season would be the laboratory. Out in the real world, hip-hop was going mainstream, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson ruled the NBA, and Ronald Reagan was president. In Seattle, the team's season unfolded like a perfectly scripted sports movie: the ragtag group of boys became friends and gelled together to win the league championship. The experiment was deemed a success.But was it? How did crossing lines of class, race, and wealth affect the lives of these ten boys? Two decades later, Doug Merlino, who played on the team, returned to find his teammates. His search ranges from a prison cell to a hedge fund office, street corners to a shack in rural Oregon, a Pentecostal church to the records of a brutal murder. The result is a complex, gripping, and, at times, unsettling story. An instant classic in the vein of Michael Apted's Up series, The Hustle tells the stories of ten teammates set before a background of sweeping social and economic change, capturing the ways race, money, and opportunity shape our lives. A tale both personal and public, The Hustle is the story a disparate group of men finding - or not finding - a place in America.
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury USA, [2011]
Edition: First U.S. edition
Copyright Date: ©2011
ISBN: 9781608192151
1608192156
Branch Call Number: 796.32362 M548H 2010
Characteristics: 309 pages, 1 unnumbered page : illustrations, map, portraits ; 25 cm

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Memoir tends to be subjective, while journalistic writing aims at objective treatment of a topic. Then there are those books that combine these strengths, exploring a topic of interest from within, either through the eyes of someone whose experience gives them a revealing perspective, or a journalist who immerses themselves in the world they’re writing about. (more)


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In the 1980s, an unlikely dream team united racially diverse basketball players from across Seattle. Champions on the court, these young men emerged onto a much less even playing field after graduation.

Biography/Memoir winner.


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Meeseeks Oct 05, 2016

Merlino is a great writer, the book is part memoir, part sports story and part social study.

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labrys
Aug 25, 2013

A look at class and economic disparity through the lens of high school basketball. The author follows the lives of members of his high school team who attended his elite Seattle private school or who were recruited because of their talent in more recent years, sharing some interesting history about Seattle race relations but ultimately revealing how race and class shape the dramatic differences in opportunities and outcomes.

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