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The Hustle - One Team and Ten Lives in Black and White - cover

The Hustle - One Team and Ten Lives in Black and White

Doug Merlino

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

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Summary

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

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