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Organized Crime: Analyzing Illegal Activities, Criminal Structures, and Extra-legal GovernanceOrganized Crime: Analyzing Illegal Activities, Criminal Structures, and Extra-legal Governance
Author: Klaus von Lampe
Publisher: Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications, 2016. 488p.
Reviewer: Frederick T. Martens | September 2016

Our reviewer Frederick Martens gives Organized Crime: Analyzing Illegal Activities, Criminal Structures, and Extra-legal Governance by Klaus von Lampe an assessment that any author would envy. Martens writes, “[i]t is without question, the most comprehensive and robust treatment of organized crime research, theories and perspectives that has been published to date.” Coming from a reviewer who has spent a professional lifetime investigating (as a practitioner) and studying (as an academic) organized crime, makes this especially impressive. We are happy to include the review here in order that other practitioners and scholars can make their own assessment.  

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Deported: Immigrant Policing, Disposable Labor, and Global CapitalismDeported: Immigrant Policing, Disposable Labor, and Global Capitalism
Author: Tanya Maria Golash-Boza
Publisher: New York: New York University Press, 2015. 320p.
Reviewer: Vincent Ferraro | September 2016

Deported: Immigrant Policing, Disposable Labor, and Global Capitalism, by Tanya Maria Golash-Boza is certainly a timely addition to the literature, coming as it does amidst a national debate about immigration, illegal aliens, and deportation. The book is reviewed for us by Vincent Ferraro, who says it is “is a welcome addition to studies of immigration, social control, global capitalism, and especially the growing body of work on deportation.” Golash-Boza’s conclusions that contemporary U.S. deportation policy functions neither to end immigration nor to remove all deportable persons, but instead effectively reproduces systems of inequality on a global scale, are nothing if not controversial.

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Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader GinsburgNotorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Authors: Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
Publisher: New York: Dey Street Books, 2015. 240p.
Reviewer: Jack E. Call | September 2016

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a particular connection to Rutgers University, having once been a law professor here. The somewhat oddly titled Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik (the title is explained by the way), is one of several recent books looking at the life and times and impact of Justice Ginsburg. Reviewer Jack Call generally praises the book as a valuable source of humorous and moving stories about Justice Ginsburg that humanize her, but that at the same time sheds light on the critically important role that Ginsburg played in, for example, the fights for women’s rights and against gender discrimination.

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The al-Qaeda Franchise: The Expansion of al-Qaeda and Its ConsequencesThe al-Qaeda Franchise: The Expansion of al-Qaeda and Its Consequences
Author: Barak Mendelsohn
Publisher: New York; Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2016. 288p.
Reviewer: Isaac Kfir | September 2016

Another very timely book in this issue is Barak Mendelsohn’s The al-Qaeda Franchise: The Expansion of al-Qaeda and Its Consequences. Mendelsohn argues that the international terrorist organization called al-Qaeda is currently seeking to expand by means of what he calls a franchising strategy, i.e., by linking with or farming out activities to various other organizations in different parts of the world. Our reviewer, Isaac Kfir, says that “Mendelsohn seeks to show that the franchising strategy has not made al-Qaeda more dangerous nor stronger, but rather has weakened it, as it has had to adapt to local conditions and demands.” Kfir takes issue with this conclusion in his review.

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The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in AmericaThe Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America
Author: Barry Latzer
Publisher: New York: Encounter Books, 2016. 424p.
Reviewer: Sam Bieler | September 2016

Samuel Bieler has written numerous reviews for this online journal, and has done so again here with his assessment of Barry Latzer’s The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America. Bieler points to Latzer’s core argument being “that a subculture of violence in Black communities plays an underappreciated role in understanding America’s violent crime trends.” There is nothing unique or unusual in making that argument, but as Bieler indicates, Latzer extends his argument to suggest that this same subculture played an important role in driving both the dramatic rise in violent crime in the 1960s and 70s and in its subsequent precipitous fall. Needless to say, this is a controversial thesis, but then Barry Latzer has never been shy about wading into such controversies.

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Cartels, Markets and Crime: A Normative Justification for the Criminalisation of Economic CollusionCartels, Markets and Crime: A Normative Justification for the Criminalisation of Economic Collusion
Author: Bruce Wardhaugh
Publisher: New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2014. 376p.
Reviewer: Brent Fisse | September 2016

Are we justified in applying criminal sanctions to individuals who participate in cartel behavior? In Cartels, Markets and Crime, Bruce Wardaugh seeks to offer a liberal, normative justification for the criminal law of economic collusion that exists in a range of Western jurisdictions, relating it to various conceptions of social justice, particularly that developed by John Rawls. Our reviewer, Brent Fisse, found the book an “interesting,” if ultimately unpersuasive, counterweight to the law and economics approach that tends to dominate the field.

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