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Women, Crime and Criminal Justice: A Global EnquiryWomen, Crime and Criminal Justice: A Global Enquiry
Author: Rosemary L. Barberet
Publisher: London; New York: Routledge, 2014. 232p.
Reviewer: Judith A. Ryder | March 2015

International and comparative criminal justice remain a relatively underdeveloped focus of attention, despite the expansion of globalization that has been occurring on many fronts over more than 25 years.  For example, many criminological theories have been promulgated and remain tested solely with US-based samples.  The same is true with various approaches to crime prevention and control; they are idiosyncratic to the United States.  Rosemary Barberet’s new book Women, Crime and Criminal Justice. A Global Enquiry is an effort to confront this ethnocentrism.  Reviewer Judith Ryder says that Barberet challenges criminologists to think internationally, and in so doing “stretch our narrow definition of crime,” while simultaneously outlining a “comprehensive, feminist approach.” It should be noted that this book was voted the outstanding book of the year by the international divisions of both the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences!

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Forgiveness and Remembrance: Remembering Wrongdoing in Public and Private LifeForgiveness and Remembrance: Remembering Wrongdoing in Public and Private Life
Author: Jeffrey M. Blustein
Publisher: New York; Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014. 352p.
Reviewer: Leo Zaibert | March 2015

What role should forgiveness play in our moral lives and in our system of criminal justice, and how does the impulse to forgive relate to the impulse to seek retribution? Some theorists have assumed that when we forgive, all our resentment magically disappears. In his new book, Jeffrey Blustein offers a more complex and nuanced view -- one that takes account not only of resentment, but also indignation, disappointment, and sheer sadness, among other emotions.  According to our reviewer, Leo Zaibert, the result is “ambitious, important, and very well thought-out.”

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Jack the Ripper: The Forgotten VictimsJack the Ripper: The Forgotten Victims
Authors: Paul Begg and John Bennett
Publisher: New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013. 312p.
Reviewer: Alexandra Warwick | March 2015

Who knew that there was such an area of study as “Ripperology”?  As the name implies, Ripperology seemingly refers to the study of Jack the Ripper, that notorious murderer of women in London in the late 1800s.  Alexandra Warwick calls this “an apparently inexhaustible topic.”  But, Warwick says Jack the Ripper: The Forgotten Victims by Paul Begg and John Bennett “contributes little to an understanding of any more general historical circumstances.”  Instead, she concludes that Begg and Bennett have produced a book not so much “about people and events in East End London in the late nineteenth century, but about us, here and now, what we value, what we want to remember and what we choose to ignore.”

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Terror Detentions and the Rule of Law: US and UK Perspectives Terror Detentions and the Rule of Law: US and UK Perspectives
Author: Robert H. Wagstaff
Publisher: New York; Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014.
Reviewer: Alec D. Walen | March 2015

To what extent are the long-term detention and enhanced interrogation techniques used by the U.S. and U.K. governments in their War on Terror consistent with the Rule of Law? In his book on the subject, Robert Wagstaff argues that such tactics have been ineffective, immoral, and illegal. Our reviewer, Alec Walen, though largely sympathetic to Wagstaff’s “substantive conclusions”, is nevertheless highly critical of his approach. According to Walen, Wagstaff “unfairly represent[s] the views of those with whom he disagrees, and . . . neglect[s] arguments that would be made on the other side of the debate.”

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Black Market Britain: 1939-1955 Black Market Britain: 1939-1955
Author: Mark Roodhouse Publisher: New York; Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2013. 290p. Reviewer: R. T. Naylor | March 2015

Black Market Britain: 1939-1955 by Mark Roodhouse, reviewed here by R. T. Naylor, examines a quite different topic and historical period in British history.  That topic is the effects of economic controls imposed in Britain -- and the time is World War II.  Although Naylor is critical of there being too many “undigested data points and poorly contextualized observations,” among some other flaws, he offers this general observation:  “By using an eclectic prism informed by a combination of economic anthropology and common sense, he [Roodhouse] provides a healthy antidote to enduring efforts by orthodox economists to impose their methodology-cum- ideology on social science in general.”

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The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal ResponsesThe Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses
Authors: James T. O’Reilly and Margaret S. P. Chalmers
Publisher: New York; Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014. 472p.
Reviewer: Carolyn M. Warner | March 2015

Why has it been so difficult for victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by the Catholic clergy to obtain satisfactory legal redress for their claims? In addressing this question, authors O’Reilly and Chalmers consider the complex relationship between civil damages law and global church-based canon law, and how they interact with U.S. laws on religious freedom. According to our reviewer, Carolyn Warner, “[t]he book is as much a textbook for those in the legal profession, law enforcement and in the Catholic Church, who might have to deal with clergy sex abuse cases, as it is a work for Catholics, including clergy child sex abuse victims, and others, trying to understand the multiple facets of the legal side of clergy child sex abuse cases.”

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The Ex-Prisoner’s Dilemma: How Women Negotiate Competing Narratives of Reentry and DesistanceThe Ex-Prisoner’s Dilemma: How Women Negotiate Competing Narratives of Reentry and Desistance
Author: Andrea Leverentz
Publisher: New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2014. 256p.
Reviewer: Keesha M. Middlemass | March 2015

What happens to women when they leave prison and try to rebuild their lives on the outside? Over the course of a year, Andrea Leverentz interviewed 49 women, along with their family members, friends, and co-workers, as they sought to rethink their conceptions of themselves as mothers, daughters, sisters, romantic partners, and employees. The result, says our reviewer, Keesha Middlemass, is “a rich, theoretically grounded set of gendered narratives exploring how female participants constructed an identity consistent with their circumstances such as 'ex' drug user/prisoner/offender.”

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More Full Length Reviews
for March can be found here.


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