This post reviews Paul Tough, Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008).
Tough, an editor at the New York Times Magazine and widely published journalist, here pens a fascinating book chronicling the reform efforts of Geoffrey Canada, an African American visionary who has been working for many years to transform Harlem. The book is an engaging blend of first person reportage of Canada’s efforts among the urban poor with research reviews of some of the most significant scholarship on urban poverty, child-rearing, and education. In this review I’ll briefly summarize Canada’s approach in Harlem and then focus on what this book has to say about the importance of home life for a child’s educational success. (more…)