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Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture

About the Book

Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture

A pitch-perfect account of how hip-hop culture drew in the author and how his father drew him out again-with love, perseverance, and 15,000 books.

Into Williams's childhood home-a one-story ranch house-his father crammed more books than the local library could hold. "Pappy" used some of these volumes to run an academic prep service; the rest he used in his unending pursuit of wisdom. His son's pursuits were quite different-"money, hoes, and clothes." The teenage Williams wore Medusa- faced Versace sunglasses and a hefty gold medallion, dumbed down and thugged up his speech, and did whatever else he could to fit into the intoxicating hip-hop culture that surrounded him. Like all his friends, he knew exactly where he was the day Biggie Smalls died, he could recite the lyrics to any Nas or Tupac song, and he kept his woman in line, with force if necessary.

Williams is the first of his generation to measure the seductive power of hip-hop against its restrictive worldview, which ultimately leaves those who live it powerless. LOSING MY COOL portrays the allure and the danger of hip-hop culture like no book has before. Even more remarkably, Williams evokes the subtle salvation that literature offers and recounts with breathtaking clarity a burgeoning bond between father and son.

Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture
by Thomas Chatterton Williams

  • Publication Date: April 29, 2010
  • Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The
  • ISBN-10: 159420263X
  • ISBN-13: 9781594202636