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The Reasoning Criminal: Rational Choice Perspectives on Offending The Reasoning Criminal: Rational Choice Perspectives on Offending
Editors: Derek B, Cornish and Ronald V. Clarke
Publisher: New Brunswick, NJ; London: Transaction Publishers, 2014. 268p.
Reviewer: Nick Tilley | July 2014

Derek Cornish and Ronald Clarke’s The Reasoning Criminal: Rational Choice Perspectives on Offending was originally published in 1986. As Nick Tilley points out in his very thorough and complimentary review, the impact of the earlier edition has been enormous. Among its original contributions, according to Tilley, is the “heuristic and analytic value of rational choice as a starting point in trying to understand human behavior.” Tilley hopes, as I am sure so do the editors and various authors, that this reprinting will “stimulate new efforts to go beyond rational choice but without losing the novel insights that followed from its development and the practical help it has provided in thinking through practical preventive strategies.”

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Bioethics, Medicine and the Criminal Law, Volume 2: Medicine, Crime and Society Bioethics, Medicine and the Criminal Law, Volume 2: Medicine, Crime and Society
Editors: Danielle Griffiths and Andrew Sanders
Publisher: Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 351p.
Reviewer: Song Richardson | July 2014

In 2013-14, Cambridge University Press published a major three volume collection of essays on Bioethics, Medicine and the Criminal Law. David Orentlicher reviewed volume 1 here; Joan Krause reviewed volume 3 here. Now, Song Richardson offers her review of volume 2, which covers deliberate and grossly negligent conduct in the medical context, corporate liability, and a range of other issues that have played out in U.K. and several other Western industrialized countries. Among the many hard questions addressed is “whether criminal regulation results in safer medical practices or whether it instead causes doctors to... conceal their mistakes at the expense of patient care.” Richardson calls the book a “must read” for “policymakers, healthcare providers, academics, and anyone else interested in the thorny questions surrounding the intended and unintended effects of criminal punishment on the provision of medical care.”

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Extreme Right-Wing Political Violence and Terrorism Extreme Right-Wing Political Violence and Terrorism
Editors: Max Taylor, P. M. Currie, and Donald Holbrook
Publisher: New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013. 208p.
Reviewer: Tracy Lightcap | July 2014

In one of several reviews of books in this issue dealing with violence, Extreme Right-Wing Political Violence and Terrorism is a collection of essays covering right-wing movements and groups in the United States, the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Norway, and Germany. Reviewer Tracy Lightcap calls the topic an alarming one, and says the comparative focus of this book shows just how alarming it is.

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The Gang and Beyond: Interpreting Violent Street WorldsThe Gang and Beyond: Interpreting Violent Street Worlds
Author: Simon Hallsworth
Publisher: Houndmills, Basingstoke, UK; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 224p.
Reviewer: Jana Grekul | July 2014

The Gang and Beyond: Interpreting Violent Street Worlds by Simon Hallsworth, is described by reviewer Jana Grekul as “a refreshing alternative to understanding the so-called `gang problem’.” Although drawn from the experience of gangs in the United Kingdom, it is not, according to Grekul, restricted in its relevance. She says the author is “sarcastic, snarky, and highly critical of dominant political and academic discourse” which makes for an engaging and entertaining read.

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Justice through Apologies: Remorse, Reform, and Punishment Justice through Apologies: Remorse, Reform, and Punishment
Author: Nick Smith
Publisher: New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. 413p.
Reviewer: Stephanos Bibas | July 2014

What role should apology play in our system of criminal justice? In his review of Justice Through Apologies, Stephanos Bibas finds that author Nick Smith “adroitly navigates the space between what he regards as the ideal of a categorical apology and the sausage factory that is the American legal system.” Smith’s approach is narrow: the focus is so much on apologies as such, Bibas says, that it neglects “forgiveness, closure, and reintegration, which ideally should follow apologies.” But it does present a useful critique of how our apologies are cheapened and ignored by our current plea bargain-based system of criminal justice.

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Leaving Prostitution: Getting Out and Staying Out of Sex Work Leaving Prostitution: Getting Out and Staying Out of Sex Work
Author: Sharon S. Oselin
Publisher: New York: New York Univerity Press, 2014. 218p.
Reviewer: Melissa Hamilton | July 2014

Prostitution and sex work are controversial subjects that have received increasing attention – both of the academic kind, and of the practical, policy kind – in recent years. Even the terms themselves are controversial, in part because there is or may be some connotation of voluntariness in these as being “professions.” Sharon Oselin’s Leaving Prostitution is an ethnography based upon interviews with female prostitutes who are leaving or in the process of leaving this form of sex work. Reviewer Hamilton calls the book “a wonderfully rich sociological study of a group that society marginalizes and stigmatizes…. [o]verall, this is an informative piece of research extending sex work scholarship in an interesting direction.”

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Not a Choice, Not a Job: Exposing the Myths about Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade Not a Choice, Not a Job: Exposing the Myths about Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade
Author: Janice G. Raymond Publisher: Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2013. 272p. Reviewer: Barbara Ann Stolz | July 2014

For a quite different take on prostitution and sex work from that of Sharon Oselin (See Leaving Prostitution), we have Janice Raymond’s Not a Choice, Not a Job: Exposing the Myths about Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade. According to our reviewer Barbara Ann Stolz, Raymond takes a “feminist abolitionism perspective.” In Raymond’s view, prostitution is neither a choice, which is the so-called liberal perspective, nor a moral failing, which is the conservative perspective. Instead, it is according to Raymond, “one of the final strongholds of sexualized male dominance.” Beyond generally informing the debate, Stolz concludes that one of the strengths of Raymond’s book is her analysis of the problems of prostitution and human trafficking.

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