A City Year

On the Streets and in the Neighborhoods with Twelve Young Community Service Volunteers

Suzanne Goldsmith, a young Harvard-educated reporter, signed on for a year of service with City Year, the widely praised, Boston-based community service program frequently endorsed by President Clinton as a model for the nation. A City Year is the story of that year—an honest and gritty account of the triumphs and setbacks faced by an idealistic and experimental social program in its infancy.


“Suzanne Goldsmith writes with a rare combination of hope in the ideals of public service and realism about the lives of young people in tough circumstances. The characters she brings to life in A City Year can serve us as the most vivid possible reminders of why we are embarking on the most ambitious national service program in our history.”
—Nicholas Lemmon, author of The Promised Land
“The best book ever-written from the trenches-on what it is like to volunteer, by a keen observer and storywriter.”
—Amitai Etzioni, author of The Spirit of Community
“The rich and detailed personal narrative is framed by a reflective appreciation of the past and future of voluntary commitment to America's communities.”
New England Nonprofit Quarterly

Goodreads Reviews