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

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After the death of Robert Peace from a drug-related shooting, his former Yale roommate Jeff Hobbs decided to record Robert's story. Looking extensively at the short and tragic life of a talented boy from Newark, Hobbs highlights a world that idolizes social mobility, but only allows it among the privileged. Reminiscent of Adrian Nicole Leblanc's Random Family, the end result is a devastating and compassionate eulogy from one friend to another.  

— From Nancy's Book Picks

October 2014 Indie Next List


“On one level, The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace is about unfulfilled potential and heartbreaking loss, but more importantly, it deals with the pressure we all feel to succeed and be happy in an increasingly competitive society. It is a beautiful eulogy to a friend and an accurate portrayal of what it means to be young, talented, and conflicted.”
— Shawn Donley, Powell's Books, Inc, Portland, OR

Description


An instant New York Times bestseller, named a best book of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Amazon, and Entertainment Weekly, among others, this celebrated account of a young African-American man who escaped Newark, NJ, to attend Yale, but still faced the dangers of the streets when he returned is, "nuanced and shattering" (People) and "mesmeric" (The New York Times Book Review).

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, trying to fit in at Yale, and at home on breaks.

A compelling and honest portrait of Robert's relationships--with his struggling mother, with his incarcerated father, with his teachers and friends--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 the slums of Newark, New Jersey, and the difficulty of going from one to the other and then back again. It's about trying to live a decent life in America. But most all this "fresh, compelling" (The Washington Post) story is about the tragic life of one singular brilliant young man. His end, a violent one, is heartbreaking and powerful and "a haunting American tragedy for our times" (Entertainment Weekly).
Product Details
ISBN: 9781476731919
ISBN-10: 1476731918
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Publication Date: July 28th, 2015
Pages: 432
Language: English