We recently finished the book Gang Leader For a Day: A Rogue Socialogist Takes to the Streets by Sudhir Venkatesh. The author tells the story of how he went to interview gang members for his PhD research in the projects outside the University of Chicago. He ends up spending years studying their ways and getting to know them better.
Sudhir becomes involved in drive-by-shootings, prostitution rings, and crack dealing in order to understand the people of the Chicago projects better. In the end, he discovers that the government knows even less about the crack gangs than a suburbanite boy in his young twenties.
Quick vote: This book is a fascinating read, and though some parts are a little slow, we recommend it to all! (And most especially those of us that love non-fiction.)