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We include in this issue for the first time something we have considered doing before – namely inviting, and publishing, a response from a book’s author to the review of his or her book. We are doing so in this particular instance because of the rather dramatic divergence between this author’s work and the assessment of that work by our reviewer. But even more importantly, we are doing this because we believe it will open up a wider discourse enlightening our readers and provoking discussion about the merits (as well as the demerits) of scholarly research and writing. We hope you agree.

The co-editors

Law and the Modern Mind: Consciousness and Responsibility in American Legal CultureLaw and the Modern Mind: Consciousness and Responsibility in American Legal Culture
Author: Susanna L. Blumenthal
Publisher: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016. 400p.
Reviewer: Chloë Kennedy | May 2016

In Law and the Modern Mind, Susanna Blumenthal offers a sweeping intellectual history of how Enlightenment conceptions of madness, rationality, mental competence, deviance, agency, and responsible citizenship informed the development of post-revolutionary American law, both criminal and civil. According to our reviewer, Chloë Kennedy, “[t]he mental dexterity required to comprehend and synthesize” the case reports, legal commentaries, and treatises that Blumenthal relies on, and to locate them within their complex cultural context “alone sets [her] work apart.”

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Faces Like Devils: The Bald Knobber Vigilantes in the OzarksFaces Like Devils: The Bald Knobber Vigilantes in the Ozarks
Author: Matthew J. Hernando
Publisher: Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2015. 313p.
Reviewer: J. Blake Perkins | May 2016

Matthew J. Hernando’s Faces Like Devils deals with the myth and legend surrounding one of nineteenth-century America’s largest, most violent, and most colorful vigilante groups. The goal of the so-called Bald Knobbers of post-Civil War Missouri was “to overthrow the corrupt and inept courthouse ring, to stamp out crime and, despite the contradiction inherent to their methods, to restore law and order.” Reviewer J. Blake Perkins calls Faces Like Devils “a fine book that those interested in the history of American vigilantism, violence, criminal justice, and rural social change will find very useful.”

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Comparing Tort and Crime. Learning from across and within Legal SystemsComparing Tort and Crime. Learning from across and within Legal Systems
Editor: Matthew Dyson
Publisher: Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 558p.
Reviewer: Marta Infantino | May 2016

Offering the first "large-scale and in-depth study of the many forms that the crime/tort divide may take across legal systems," Andrew Dyson's edited volume, Comparing Tort and Crime. Learning from across and within Legal Systems , is " full of detailed information and well-thought-out analysis that was simply not available before." It is, according to our reviewer Marta Infantino, "comparative law at its best."

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Race, Place, and Suburban Policing: Too Close for ComfortRace, Place, and Suburban Policing: Too Close for Comfort
Author: Andrea S. Boyles
Publisher: Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2015. 268p.
Reviewer: Jonathon A. Cooper | May 2016

The relationship between the police and the communities (particularly black communities) they police is a perennially important topic; but it is one that has been especially high profile over the past several years. Andrea Boyles’s Race, Place, and Suburban Policing addresses this topic, but as her title implies, not with the traditional focus on inner cities, but rather on suburbia. In his review, Jonathon Cooper concludes that the most important contribution Boyle makes to the policing literature specifically, but more importantly to the study of society in general, is understanding that the problem with the relationship between the police and the community goes beyond the police themselves - and even beyond minority communities. This is instead, “a societal issue that deserves a deep and broad societal response.”

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Exiting Prostitution: A Study in Female DesistanceExiting Prostitution: A Study in Female Desistance
Authors: Roger Matthews, Helen Easton, Lisa Young & Julie Bindel
Publisher: London; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 162p.
Reviewer: A. N. Cimino | May 2016

Sex work, prostitution and sex trafficking are controversial topics – about which advocates and scholars have sometimes very different perspectives. One area of controversy is that concerning the extent to which women (who tend to be predominant in these activities) actually exercise a degree of choice and have agency over their participation.  Exiting Prostitution: A study in female desistance, by R. Matthews, H. Easton, L. Young & J. Bindel deals with this issue via an empirical study. Their subjects are women involved in prostitution and service providers. Our reviewer, A. N. Cimino, calls this a “novel and well-crafted study on the prostitution exiting process.”

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“No One Helped”: Kitty Genovese, New York City, and the Myth of Urban Apathy“No One Helped”: Kitty Genovese, New York City, and the Myth of Urban Apathy
Author:Marcia M. Gallo
Publisher: Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2015. 240p.
Reviewer: Jennifer K. Wood | May 2016

The brutal murder of Kitty Genovese in Queens, NY in 1964 might have gone relatively unnoticed, as just one more killing in a city that was almost inured to violent crime. Except, this particular murder became the stuff of urban legend – a legend that supposedly reflected the callous indifference and apathy of big city dwellers. “No One Helped”: Kitty Genovese, New York City, and the Myth of Urban Apathy by Marcia M. Gallo tells the true story. Reviewer Jennifer Wood says “Gallo’s detailed, carefully researched, and readable book explores the media, social, cultural, political, and geographical landscape of responses to Genovese’s murder in order to argue that `urban apathy’ was a myth.”

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