The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League [Read] ➵ The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League By Jeff Hobbs – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk What does the untimely death of one man mean Robert Peace was born outside Newark in a ghetto known as Illtown His unwed mother worked long hours in a kitchen His charismatic father was later convicte What does the untimely death of one and Tragic PDF/EPUB å man mean Robert Peace was born outside Newark in a ghetto known as Illtown His unwed mother worked long hours in a kitchen His charismatic father was later convicted of a double murder Peace s intellectual brilliance and hard won determination earned him a full scholarship to Yale University At college, while majoring in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, he straddled the world of academia and the world of the street, never revealing his full self in either place Upon graduation from Yale, he went The Short PDF \ home to teach at the Catholic high school he d attended, slid into the drug trade, and was brutally murdered at age thirtyThat s the short version of Robert Peace s life The long version, the complete version, is this remarkable tour de force by Jeff Hobbs, a talented young novelist who was Peace s college roommate Hobbs attended Peace s funeral, reached out to his friends from both Yale and Newark, and ultimately decided to write this harrowing and beautiful account of his lifeWhat does the haunting, untimely death of one Short and Tragic PDF ☆ man mean Robert Peace s life doesn t reduce to easy sociological constructions Through Hobbs s relentless research and remarkable writing, we learn the cost of living between the world Peace was born into and the one his potential allowed him to enter We see him work, love, fail, succeed, give to others, care for his mother, travel, and dream We witness the decisions he made for himself and the ones that life forced upon him But most importantly, we come to understand the sheer complexity of his existence and are irrevocably changed by the fascinating, devastating, and unforgettable life of Robert Peace.


About the Author: Jeff Hobbs

Jeff Hobbs grew up in Kennett Square, and Tragic PDF/EPUB å PA and graduated from Yale in with a BA in English Language and Literature Hobbs spent three years traveling between New York and Tanzania, where he helped build the African Rainforest Conservancy He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Rebecca, and their dog, Noah.



10 thoughts on “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League

  1. Glenn Sumi Glenn Sumi says:

    It s been a couple of days since I finished this, and I m still shaken up The Short And Tragic Life Of Robert Peace A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark For The Ivy League shame about the title is the sort of book I want to press on friends, saying simply You must read this Rob Peace grew up in a poor and dangerous New Jersey neighbourhood The odds were stacked against him He was black, male and being raised by his single mother his father was loosely involved in the drug business an It s been a couple of days since I finished this, and I m still shaken up The Short And Tragic Life Of Robert Peace A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark For The Ivy League shame about the title is the sort of book I want to press on friends, saying simply You must read this Rob Peace grew up in a poor and dangerous New Jersey neighbourhood The odds were stacked against him He was black, male and being raised by his single mother his father was loosely involved in the drug business and would later be charged and convicted in a double homicide And yet, thanks to a ferociously hard working mom, his intelligence, perseverance and leadership skills, Rob got into a prestigious inner city private school and graduated with its top award That in turn helped get him get into Yale, where he graduated with a degree in molecular biochemistry and biophysics Throughout high school and university, he was dealing marijuana.The author, Jeff Hobbs, was Rob s privileged he doesn t hide that and lily white Yale roommate After graduation, Rob went back to the hood, stumbled around aimlessly for a while, taught at his old high school, tried to make quick money in real estate, took trips to Brazil he learned Portuguese before he went , got a job as a baggage handler and travelled the world with his perks, had some bad luck, began selling pot again and then, at the age of 30, was killed, presumably in a drug related death.But it s so muchthan that Bare bones it s about race class education povertyDigging a little deeper, it deals with a single mother s clear determination to provide a better life for her gifted son that son s loyalty, his feelings of guilt and wanting to stay true to his upbringing while also forging ahead and making the most of his gifts the lack of role models for young black men the enormous divide between the haves and the have nots, not just in terms of money and education but self esteem and a sense of entitlementOn another level you could say it touches on what s wrong with the American Dream what s wrong with some American cities what s wrong with the justice system it s unclear whether Rob s father really committed those murders, but the case definitely wasn t handled well It ll also make you think about how much choice anyone has in the course of his or her life cruel twists of fate could a friend s 4,000 loan or a delayed application to a less stratified excellent college i.e., one unlike Yale, where the distinction between the haves and have nots was so obvious have changed Rob s life Okay Deep breath.I know this all sounds scattered, which is so unlike Hobbs s clear and carefully written book By its nature the story is terribly sad You know going in that it won t have a happy ending But you want to know Why WTF happenedHobbs does a remarkable job of piecing together Rob s life, which began even before he was born It s a non fiction book that s as gripping as a novel There are several references to The Great Gatsby, and they re all appropriate It could also be called An American Tragedy.In some ways this book is also about love a parent s for a child, that child s for his parents, self love, love of community, love of home, love of true friends Especially given the recent protests sparked by police brutality and unfair trials in the US, this book is essential reading.So pick it up Meet this remarkable man and his too short life Meet his friends, his family, his teachers Meet those who helped him, those who were helped by him, those who enabled him, those who warned him bless you, Oswaldo Gutierrez , those who merely thought he was cool.Attention must be paid And Rob Peace, as this book so eloquently proves, deserves to bethan a sad statistic


  2. Sara Nelson Sara Nelson says:

    Full disclosure I am a friend of the author and have read this book in many drafts and encouraged him to publish it Still, I am blown away by how beautifully Jeff Hobbs showed us a story in which there are no heroes, where everybody is complex.if there s a perfect person in this book it is Jackie, Rob Peace s mother, who suffers his loss to this day This is a hugely important book, but I worry that to say that makes it sound like the literary equivalent of kale good for you but not that Full disclosure I am a friend of the author and have read this book in many drafts and encouraged him to publish it Still, I am blown away by how beautifully Jeff Hobbs showed us a story in which there are no heroes, where everybody is complex.if there s a perfect person in this book it is Jackie, Rob Peace s mother, who suffers his loss to this day This is a hugely important book, but I worry that to say that makes it sound like the literary equivalent of kale good for you but not that appetizing This book is fascinating, smart, provocative extraordinarily balanced and a page turner, all at once


  3. Ami Ami says:

    This was an extremely difficult book to read not because of the writing, which was clear and precise, but because of the feeling of being in a slow motion car wreck You know something terrible is coming, you don t want it to happen, and you are helpless to stop it Which is how I imagine many of Robert Peace s friends felt It s an absolutely unflinching look at how poverty affects lives I m covering the rest of the review with a spoiler alert, but I don t think the content I reveal would ru This was an extremely difficult book to read not because of the writing, which was clear and precise, but because of the feeling of being in a slow motion car wreck You know something terrible is coming, you don t want it to happen, and you are helpless to stop it Which is how I imagine many of Robert Peace s friends felt It s an absolutely unflinching look at how poverty affects lives I m covering the rest of the review with a spoiler alert, but I don t think the content I reveal would ruin the book for anyone, and it is certainly no different than the info that you d hear listening to a Fresh Air or Daily Show interview with the author But it s there just in case view spoiler Robert Peace is smart In inner city New Jersey, that s enough to set him on a different path than many of his peers, but Robert had another ace in the hole two wise and devoted parents who planned for their child to succeed in as many ways as possible It seems like an auspicious beginning, but Hobbs systematically shows us how even beginning in the best of circumstances can be inevitably pulled under by the daily grind of poverty With his father imprisoned and his mother struggling financially, Robert who adores and is supported by both of his parents takes on a heavy mantel at a young age His father helps him with homework over the phone from prison, and Robert helps his father with his legal appeal His mother saves and works to send Robert to private school, where he excels, and Robert helps her by taking odd jobs and splitting the profits with the household Through all of this there is the looming spectre of the inner city streets, where guns and gangs and drugs are a reality Hobbs carefully shows how the young Robert learns to split his personality into separate pieces school Robert Streets Robert Friend Robert Boyfriend Robert And how this early fracturing never really allows him to escape those streets.Robert, while he seems like a remarkable and amazing person, isn t an innocent Hobbs is careful to show you that this is not a story of someone helpless in the face of circumstance Robert makes his own choices But what is remarkable is the way that by so carefully leading you through Robert s life, Hobbs is able to show you the ways that Robert s decisions are tied in many, many ways to his beginning, and just how difficult those are to leave behind hide spoiler


  4. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    My mind still lingers with Sherman Alexie s memoir, You Don t Have To Say You LoveMe Sherman Alexie was raised on an Indian Reservation with unbearable conditions he moved on to schools where he could get a better education in all white schools His classmates came to love and respect him Sherman Alexie is a successful author today at the same time Sherman never fully escaped his environment He is a Native American with memories of property abuse drugs etc He has an My mind still lingers with Sherman Alexie s memoir, You Don t Have To Say You LoveMe Sherman Alexie was raised on an Indian Reservation with unbearable conditions he moved on to schools where he could get a better education in all white schools His classmates came to love and respect him Sherman Alexie is a successful author today at the same time Sherman never fully escaped his environment He is a Native American with memories of property abuse drugs etc He has anger He has grief He has sadness BUT HE IS ALSO ALIVE making a difference in our world So what is the difference Robert Peace came from a harsh environment of poverty and crime Like Alexie he was smart.His mother supported in all the ways she could to send Robert to private Catholic Schools He excelled He excelled academically at Yale, also Like Alexie, Robert had friends who loved him Both Alexie and Robert Peace were bright, educated educated beyond anything anyone in their immediate family and community culture had done SO, what s the difference Why did Robert Peace get side tracked and make illegal, undesirable, ill advised, injudicious choices And why didn t Alexie We will never know the answers but Jeff Hobbs did an exceptional job with this book We do see breakdowns Alexie always fought BACK with his MOTHER even as a small child That may have had some benefits He didn t take on the role of adult child.or husband to his mother.at any age He looked after himself His mother taught him how to survive ruthlessly but Alexie didn t carry the burden or guilt for his mother s suffering He never was made to feel bad for her hardships Robert was bright academically, but did he drive his own life with purpose, dreams, visions, and goals I don t think so There were red flags of Robert self medicating with alcohol and daily marijuana an indication of some inner pain and or anxiety I think there were many unresolved issues from his childhood that just got stuff down while he was getting good grades in college Just so sad At the same time Robert Peace was charming lovable..a guy we just sooo wishedfor When Robert was younger, he had often been his mother s sounding board Almost too good too well behaved as a young boy His whole life he listen to her, whether she was complaining about work pressing through the tricky economics of paying for high school by listening in his gentle way, he d made things okay He d been her sounding board, her life partner, her heart Now, at age 27, when he should have been thinking about starting his own family, he was sassing her like a child Robert s was expressing his independent voice not perfect he needed practice we could see he just needed a fewyears to grow work these things out so we hoped But life got stopped short..My godhis poor mother Her dear poor broken heart So so sad So much sadness such tragedy The writing itself flew by Jeff Hobb desevered all the acknowledgments and awards he got for this book I have the hardcopy The photos included are so touching Many people have already read this book I was late for the early discussions but having read this now along with Sherman Alexie s story are great bookends


  5. Kerrie Kerrie says:

    I have a lot of feelings when it comes to this book.On the one hand, Jeff Hobbs is a talented writer Here is an engaging work of non fiction, that brings the reader deep into the life of a man they ll never know.On the other, much weightier hand, this book is yet another monetization of black tragedy Hobbs knew Peace, but by his own admission in his work, he didn t really know this man He gleaned the details of his life from family and friends and then wrote a work that regularly centered his I have a lot of feelings when it comes to this book.On the one hand, Jeff Hobbs is a talented writer Here is an engaging work of non fiction, that brings the reader deep into the life of a man they ll never know.On the other, much weightier hand, this book is yet another monetization of black tragedy Hobbs knew Peace, but by his own admission in his work, he didn t really know this man He gleaned the details of his life from family and friends and then wrote a work that regularly centered his whiteness, reflecting the world of a man of color through the eyes of a white person This could be considered objective, but that would be a euphemism for exploitation.Robert Peace s life was incredibly interesting to me as a woman of color who also had the fortune to attend one of our nation s hallowed elite universities Though we came from very different socioeconomic backgrounds, the experiences resonated strongly with me It s always complicated being a person of color in a white environment Let s drop the predominantly as I usually find that a room of 50% white people makes the space white , and Rob Peace s experiences are not only resonant, but important to share as we encourage children of color into these environments to pursue success Out of context, I d rate this on just the writing and if that were the case, this would have been 4 stars.But context is important, and as with so many other works that are stolen from voices that are too often silenced and told by the ever powerful majority, as strong as the writing is here, I can t resolve that with my discomfort over who ultimately gets to tell this man s story


  6. Dianne Dianne says:

    I ve never met anyone so smart but so f ing dumb Oswaldo Gutierrez friend of Rob s This sums up my feelings exactly after reading this troubling book, but at the same time, it is so muchcomplicated than that.Robert Shawn Peace is born to a single mother in poverty and crime stricken Newark, New Jersey in 1980 Although his mother and father never married, his father remained a powerful influence in his life, both negative hustling drugs and positive tirelessly drilling his son I ve never met anyone so smart but so f ing dumb Oswaldo Gutierrez friend of Rob s This sums up my feelings exactly after reading this troubling book, but at the same time, it is so muchcomplicated than that.Robert Shawn Peace is born to a single mother in poverty and crime stricken Newark, New Jersey in 1980 Although his mother and father never married, his father remained a powerful influence in his life, both negative hustling drugs and positive tirelessly drilling his son on his homework and encouraging his natural curiosity and intelligence Even after his father, Skeet, was imprisoned for double homicide, the father and son maintained a tight connection Rob was convinced his father was innocent and that he was framed by white police officers Throughout middle school, high school and college, Rob would work tirelessly on appeals to release his father from prison.Rob s mother, Jackie, fearing her son would turn into another rough boy in the neighborhood, worked hard to enroll her son in private Catholic schools where smaller classes and stronger teachers allowed his natural intellect and interest in math and science to blossom At the same time, Rob, noticing his mother s sacrifices on his behalf, assumed the role of husband to his mother, working small jobs in the neighborhood and splitting the money with his mother This role of protector would become strongly ingrained in Rob s persona and would drive his interactions with people for the rest of his life At the same time, Rob valued maintaining his connections with his father s friends who would offer Rob a sip of alcohol or a toke as he strolled through his neighborhood Rob became tuned in to the personal stories and problems of his neighbors, and enjoyed offering advice and trying to help solve their problems another pattern that would repeat throughout Rob s life He also became addicted to the stress relieving benefits of getting high.The beneficiary of a full scholarship to Yale, Rob studied molecular biophysics and biochemisty Rob went to class, did his work and got A s He also ran a very successful side business dealing marijuana at Yale, which netted him over 100,000 over his four years there Rob was quiet and skilled at keeping how he felt to himself but one classmate made an astute observationArthur had always been troubled by the anger he sensed in Rob Though he hid that anger well behind the grin and the laughter and the marijuana, Arthur felt it in the jokes Rob made to Laurel and others about their privileged upbringings, in his heavy quietude whenever socioeconomic topics came up in conversation, and in his general disdain of Yale and Yalies Arthur saw a close mindedness that was, he felt, self propogating and innately limiting More broadly, he believed these qualities explained precisely how an intelligent guy like Rob would always make life harder on himself than it needed to be Here he was, drinking brandy in a prestigious society in a top ranked school, the beneficiary of so many gifts both natural and bestowed, surrounded by bright and open minded classmates, and yet he still remained mired in, even paralyzed by, what was effectively his own racism After graduation, Rob stayed on at Yale, first as a summer custodian and then as an assistant in the Yale labs After a trip to Rio, he returned to Newark and his homies, the Burger Boyz, and drifted into the sluggish whirlpool of low paying, dead end jobs and hustling that would mark the last decade of his life Get the f k out of Newark Get the f k away from people who won t get the f k out of Newark Oswaldo GutierrezHow can so much promise go so awry There are many turning points and paths untaken that you can point to, but it seems to me that one mistake that would inform Rob s whole life came as soon as he entered it All of Jackie s siblings moved out of Newark and that toxic environment, but Jackie stayed on in the house that she had lived in since she was eleven and raised her son there For someone like Rob who was all about caring for family and friends, he would be drawn to wherever his mother and childhood friends were If you want to, and you don t, then that s on you Rob PeaceRob was fond of offering this piece of advice to others, but never seemed to grasp the irony with which this applied to him He could have gone to graduate school, as he kept talking about, and continued on a path that fostered his gifts and abilities, but he became trapped in an inertia he couldn t seem to shakeOswaldo noticed a circular aspect to Rob s speech and manners, a narrowing of vision in a man who, in college, had beencurious and knowledgeable than seemingly any of the five thousand Yale undergraduates surrounding him Like the planes that circled above the airport when the ground crew caused runway delays, he fell into a holding pattern of carping about his life while hunched over a joint on Oswaldo s sofa his laments were small and tiresome Oswaldo understood now with a clarity he d never had before that all Rob s troubles were self inflicted The book is authored by one of Rob s college roommates and is meticulously researched and reconstructed It is so chock full of details, it is not always the smoothest reading experience Also, this is not a reflection of the writer at all, but the biggest missing piece is Rob s own voice What was he thinking What specifically kept him spinning in circles, tractionless, held fast in the grip of a life of hustling when he could have done so muchThis guarded, brilliant man held his cards so close to the vest that not even the people closest to him could figure out what he was thinking This is a book that will haunt me for a long time, especially the last part of the book You know from the title how this is going to end for Rob, but I was so filled with dread as I came to the finish that I had to put the book down and walk away for a couple of days before I could bear to pick it up again A 4.5 Highly recommend


  7. Shanae Shanae says:

    This book has been the most significant waste of time I ve ever endured It s apparent that Jeff Hobbs was not as close a friend to Robert Peace as he let on I don t trust him I don t know who would trust him and on what grounds they would trust him to tell the story of Robert Peace s life Struggling with debt, trying to make a name for himself, working to put his Yale degree to some use, it appears that a story about how you can take the Black kid out of the ghetto, but you can t take the gh This book has been the most significant waste of time I ve ever endured It s apparent that Jeff Hobbs was not as close a friend to Robert Peace as he let on I don t trust him I don t know who would trust him and on what grounds they would trust him to tell the story of Robert Peace s life Struggling with debt, trying to make a name for himself, working to put his Yale degree to some use, it appears that a story about how you can take the Black kid out of the ghetto, but you can t take the ghetto out of the Black kid was a good way for him to finally achieve his personal goalsthough I expected a work that would honor the legacy of his friend Based on Hobbs previous books, I can also see that of his own accord he would not have been able to produce anything even remotely similar I found the book problematic in several ways The work made me very uncomfortable I don t understand the praise for the book and will not attempt to because I find that much of it is most likely rooted in ignorance and an inability to understand or recognize the Black experience in America Jeff Hobbs, though down and capable of doing the latest Black dance moves, cannot properly articulate the aforementioned experience As a result, he should not have attempted to document such a story


  8. Casey Casey says:

    I loved the beginning of this book But the book s tone takes a sharp turn when the author appears 125 pages in The childhood portions were so well reported It feels strange that the Yale portions of this book rely so muchheavily on the author s own experiences It becomes too much about Jeff Hobbs I wouldn t mind some details about Hobbs to understand the juxtaposition of Rob s being his roommate, but I don t need to know all about Hobb s track issues and the first time he smoked marij I loved the beginning of this book But the book s tone takes a sharp turn when the author appears 125 pages in The childhood portions were so well reported It feels strange that the Yale portions of this book rely so muchheavily on the author s own experiences It becomes too much about Jeff Hobbs I wouldn t mind some details about Hobbs to understand the juxtaposition of Rob s being his roommate, but I don t need to know all about Hobb s track issues and the first time he smoked marijuana Which gets to my bigger issue with this book Hobbs includes too much too many characters, too many details This is a story about Robert not Raquel I get that he did the reporting And I don t mind his recreating scenes But I don t understand why some of the scenes are in here They don t really propel the narrative They just feel like a tedious re telling of Rob s life By the end, I had trouble feeling like this life was short at all I had read every single conversation he had ever had Overall, I enjoyed it, though I loved reading the first section and the rest of the book was quite instructive, if no longer exciting to read


  9. Mom3 Mom3 says:

    As an African American Yale graduate who knew Rob Peace, I find many inconsistencies in this book The timeline and several of the reports are inaccurate no doubt some degree of sensationalism was needed to sell the story The greatest inconsistency rests in Jeff deeming himself a friend of the author Why would a friend choose to publicize such negative and disparaging details of a loved one s life Why would a friend choose to taint the and destroy the reputation of someone he holds dea As an African American Yale graduate who knew Rob Peace, I find many inconsistencies in this book The timeline and several of the reports are inaccurate no doubt some degree of sensationalism was needed to sell the story The greatest inconsistency rests in Jeff deeming himself a friend of the author Why would a friend choose to publicize such negative and disparaging details of a loved one s life Why would a friend choose to taint the and destroy the reputation of someone he holds dear I realize some of the reports were published in news articles but this book delves into intricate details that I am sure Rob s private nature would not want divulged It appears that after his career failures, Mr Hobbs finally happened upon material that would form the foundation of a successful book The book is a riveting read, I admit It appears that Jeff is merely capitalizing on the tragedy of Rob s death Mr Hobbs, if you sincerely consider Rob a friend, and wrote this book to honor him, I assume some of the profits obtained will be allocated to his mother and or St Benedict s Prep School and not simply all pocketed for yourself


  10. Leigh Leigh says:

    During my time at Yale, I was pretty oblivious to the issues of income inequality between students I was a middle class girl from South Florida who didn t understand how those issues made the Yale experience the best of my life a vastly different one for those who didn t have what I had been given I ve spent most of my adult life working with low income people and now understand those issues and reading about Rob Peace s life made me so profoundly sad, for the gifts he had, for his inability t During my time at Yale, I was pretty oblivious to the issues of income inequality between students I was a middle class girl from South Florida who didn t understand how those issues made the Yale experience the best of my life a vastly different one for those who didn t have what I had been given I ve spent most of my adult life working with low income people and now understand those issues and reading about Rob Peace s life made me so profoundly sad, for the gifts he had, for his inability to figure out how to build on them, for the lack of security and stability that not even a Yale degree could mitigate And it s all so terribly complicated how can we ask or expect someone to turn his back on his friends, his family, his community, even when getting out of Newark might have been the one thing that could have saved him Rob and I went to the same school, but our experiences were never going to be the same, because that structural inequality pervades and constrains all of the choices that he made This book hit me hard It will be with me for a long time


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