"Crack economics" researcher tells his story

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gangcover.jpgStephen Levitt calls him the “main character” in his TEDTalk on crack economics: Sudhir Venkatesh, the young grad student who infiltrated a Chicago crack-dealing gang. His research brought back reams of sociological data — and offers an unfiltered glimpse into gang life. In his new book, Gang Leader for a Day, Venkatesh writes about his experiences during the six years he spent with the Black Kings gang in Chicago’s Robert Taylor Homes. Venkatesh is interviewed on NPR, whose site also offers an excerpt from his book, while the Chicago Sun-Times has an MP3 of the author reading his work.