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The right mistake

The right mistake / Walter Mosley. Originally published 2008.

The right mistake is a book unlike any other that I’ll be reviewing here. It’s a brutal, raw, and ultimately uplifting tale set in South Central LA. Mosley is best known for his Easy Rawlins mysteries, set in Watts during the 1950s, and he doesn’t shy away from difficult themes. The right mistake is no exception in its depiction of a group of people living in a neighborhood wracked with violent crime, police brutality, and general hopelessness coming together and trying to make a difference.

Brief plot description


The right mistake follows Socrates Fortlow, ex-con and “street philosopher” as he organizes a group that comes to be known as “the Thinkers”, individuals from disparate ethnic, racial, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds who meet to discuss the problems in their community and how to deal with them.

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