Thomas Sowell wrote of the book:
The first chapter, about Walter’s life growing up in the Philadelphia ghetto, was especially fascinating. It brought back a whole different era in black communities — an era that is now almost irretrievably lost, to the great disadvantage of today’s generation growing up in the same neighborhoods where Walter grew up in Philadelphia or where I grew up in Harlem.The civil rights revolution was helpful in many ways, but Williams points out that it was accompanied by worsening crime problems in black neighborhoods, and a lessening of expectations for black students in schools.
Some policies were built
on feelings of white guilt
without carefully thinking through
what those policies would do.
(Reason interview with Williams about his biography is here.)