Laini Madhubuti
April 13, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

In Ghettonation, former FORTUNE writer Cora Daniels explores the mutation of ghetto from noun (where you live) to adjective (how you live) to all-American marketing ploy (a national retailer using ”Baby Got Back” to sell backpacks). She asserts that ghetto has become less a matter of race and class than a mindset, representing everything from the urbanite ”driving a luxury car but still renting an apartment” to the residents of Deal, N.J., living in million-dollar homes they supposedly can’t afford to furnish. While analyzing ghetto behavior is nothing new, Daniels widens the scope in a way that is blunt, personal, and challenging.

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