Ann Arbor Weather:
Tuesday October 17, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Luke Bergmann

 

continued

young men stare into my car with a monumental indifference, that I realize there are lives here-less than an hour from home-that seem as foreign from my own suddenly effete life as any on the planet.

Luke Bergmann is a former Ann Arborite who has moved into the world of some of those young men, and he has written brilliantly and passionately about it in Getting Ghost: Two Young Lives and the Struggle for the Soul of an American City. Although Bergmann's book grows out of his Ph.D. dissertation, there is little of the specialist's-monograph-published-for-tenure-consideration in it. Bergmann does supply some of the historical and theoretical context that might explain something of the environment for the young men he writes about, but most of his book-and by far the most interesting part for those of us without academic concerns-is his vivid and meticulous documentary portrait of two young men: Dude, on the East Side, and Rodney, who lives and works west of Woodward. These two adolescent drug dealers allowed Bergmann remarkable access to their lives, bringing him into their homes, telling him their fears and desires, introducing him to their families and neighborhoods. Even though they might have started out as articulate informants for an interested anthropologist, they clearly became his friends. While never condoning what they do to survive in their city and doing what he can to help them imagine different lives (like tutoring them for the GED exam), Bergmann clearly doesn't judge them. Without romanticizing their difficult lives in the least, Bergmann finds qualities of loyalty, integrity, dependability, and perseverance in these young men that are well beyond their mainstream representations in the dominant culture. And he convinces us of the joy they are often able to find in otherwise very grim circumstances.

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Arborville Heating and Cooling
Fake Ad: August 2017
Jay Forstner
In the Rough at the AACC
While lawyers fight over its future, a suburban golf course goes back to nature.
Cynthia Furlong Reynolds
Nightspots: Necto
Family Restaurants
Crime Map
A clickable, zoomable map
Indian Supper
Fake Ad: September 2017
Jay Forstner
Community Services - Donations
Photo: U-M Central Campus Transit Center
Be Nice!
From Massachusetts, Sara Hathaway keeps a lid on the Ann Arbor Townies ONLY Facebook page.
Eve Silberman
Public Schools in Dexter
John Shultz photography and Portrait Studio in Ann Arbor since 1982