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Customer Review

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time doesn't necessarily change things, 14 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Among the Hoods: My Years with a Teenage Gang (Hardcover)
I bought this as a result of a resume in a newspaper

Charles Dickens wrote about how bad things were in London during the 1800s; the poverty, the uneducated, those who lived off the streets, the urchins, the pick pockets and their Fagins. Nothing has changed. We still have extreme wealth and extreme poverty, the haves and the have nots, the educated and the uneducated and illiterate, youths excluded because they 'are a problem'. That may be for a number of reasons, but those that can't read or write all too often fall by the wayside; they get frustrated, they become disruptive and finish up getting excluded. They become virtually unemployable. Because they cannot get jobs many turn to crime; some become what we call hoodies - many of whom we believe to be little more than modern day footpads, the no-hopers of society.

The book paints a picture of London that is more or less the same as what it was a 150 years or so ago when Charles Dickens was putting quill pen to paper.

Like most people I was appalled by what I saw on our TV screen; the rioting and the looting, the destruction of Reeves family business in Croydon.

The characters here are real; they are gang members, where being on the wrong side of an estate or borough can be fatal. Where drugs are the business to be in, but life is short.

Harriet puts a new perspective on things; she describes what it can be like on the other side of the counter at a Job Centre, what its like if you've been pushed from one non caring 'professional to another. Not all are, but there clearly is a significant minority of 9-5 'not that bothered' professionals who are not up to par when it comes to going the extra mile to help put someones life back on track.

If you've never been on 'the other side' [ I haven't, but I know people who have ] and have preconceived ideas about what are euphemistically referred to as 'the underclass' that ran amok last summer this book is the eye opener you need. You will be amazed
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