Lead plaintiff in Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States.
The CEO of the Chicago Public School system in the early 2000s, notable for his attempts to crack down on cheating on federal tests.
Former government researcher who founded his own bagel-delivery company.
18th century Scottish economist whose works The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments are still widely studied.
Ancient Greek philosopher, whose Platonic Dialogues are often regarded as cornerstones of Western thought.
Southerner who, during the 1940s, launched a highly effective initiative to reduce the influence of the Ku Klux Klan.
A close friend of the authors, who learned some sobering realities about the real estate business.
Mayor of New York City during the mid to late 1990s, whose policing methods, using the “broken window theory” of criminology, are sometimes credited with “cleaning up” the city.
Mayor of New York City in the early 1990s, and a frequent political opponent of Rudolph Giuliani.
John Kenneth Galbraith
Influential 20th century economist whose works, including The Affluent Society (1958), are credited with popularizing ideas and terms such as “conventional wisdom.”
Economic researcher who conducted a monumental study of the crack cocaine epidemic in Chicago.
Drug dealer and leader of a drug gang in Chicago—the subject of Sudhir Venkatesh’s academic research.
A member of J.T.’s gang, who supplies Sudhir Venkatesh with detailed records of the gang’s economic transactions.
Communist dictator of Romania until 1989.
Influential proponent of “right-to-carry” gun laws.
Father of Winner Lane and Loser Lane.
Son of Robert Lane, and, despite his name, a repeat offender who spent much of his life in jail.
Son of Robert Lane and, in spite of his name, a successful detective for the NYPD.
Harvard economist who overcame his impoverished, abusive childhood to become a successful professor and writer, cited many times in the book.
Notorious white supremacist and former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
American terrorist and anarchist who, in spite of his privileged childhood and tremendous academic success, became the Unabomber, one of the deadliest terrorists in American history.