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THE PACT; THREE YOUNG MEN MAKE A PROMISE AND FULFILL A DREAM

 

Review from Publishers' Weekly

'Jenkins, Davis and Hunt grew up in and around the projects of  Newark, N.J., a place decimated by crack. "The sounds of  gunshots and screeching cars late at night and before dawn were  as familiar to us as the chirping of insects must be to people  who live in the country." The three attended high school  together in the mid-'80s and made a pact to attend medical  school together. "We didn't lock hands in some kind of empty,  symbolic gesture... We just took one another at his word and  headed back to class, without even a hint of how much our lives  were about to change." Against incredible odds the almost  complete absence of male role models, a history of substance  abuse in two of the families, and even incarcerations the trio made good on their word and now practice medicine. Told in  alternating first-person chapters, the story of these young  men's struggle has remarkable clarity and insight. In extremely  accessible prose, the authors articulate the problems they  faced: "On the streets where I grew up, you didn't worry about  consequences. If someone disrespected you, you beat his ass.  Period," says Hunt; while Jenkins recalls, "Sometimes it felt  surreal, walking past the drunks, dealers, and addicts on my way  home from dental school with a pile of books." Although it is a  memoir (which, by nature, is often self-serving), this book's  agenda is far from hidden and its urgency is undeniable: through  their pact, Davis, Jenkins and Hunt achieved success, and if  they did it, others can, too.'

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