Listed below are books received for review over the last two months. Entries include publishing information as well as a description of the book. Unless otherwise stated, the book description is taken from the publisher’s website or the book jacket. Selected titles from this list will be chosen for a full review in forthcoming issues of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books. Previous books received are available from the links below.
|Abuses of the Erotic: Militarizing Sexuality in the Post-Cold War United States, by Josh Cerretti. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2019. 228p.
“Events ranging from sexual abuse at Abu Ghraib to the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” hint that important issues surrounding gender and sexuality remain at the core of political and cultural problems. Nonetheless, intersectional analyses of militarism that account for questions of race, class, and gender remain exceedingly rare. Abuses of the Erotic fills this gap by offering a comprehensive picture of how military values have permeated the civilian cultural sphere and by investigating connections between sexuality and militarism in the United States since the late 1980s.
Josh Cerretti takes up the urgent task of applying an interdisciplinary, transnational framework to the role of sexuality in promoting, expanding, and sustaining the war on terror to understand the links between what Cerretti calls “domestic militarism” and later projects of state-backed violence and intervention. This work brings together scholarship on domestic and international militarization in relation to both homosexuality and heterosexuality to demonstrate how sexual and gender politics have been deployed to bolster U.S. military policies and, by tracking over a decade of militarized sexuality, how these instances have foundationally changed how we think of sexual and gender politics today.” From Publisher’s Website.
|All Our Trials: Prisons, Policing, and the Feminist Fight to End Violence, Emily L. Thuma. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2019. 246p.
“All Our Trials explores the organizing, ideas, and influence of those who placed criminalized and marginalized women at the heart of their antiviolence mobilizations. This activism confronted a “tough on crime” political agenda and clashed with the mainstream women’s movement’s strategy of resorting to the criminal legal system as a solution to sexual and domestic violence. Drawing on extensive archival research and first-person narratives, Thuma weaves together the stories of mass defense campaigns, prisoner uprisings, broad-based local coalitions, national gatherings, and radical print cultures that cut through prison walls. In the process, she illuminates a crucial chapter in an unfinished struggle––one that continues in today’s movements against mass incarceration and in support of transformative justice.” From Publisher’s Website.
|American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear, by Khaled A. Beydoun. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. 2019. 264p.
“I remember the four words that repeatedly scrolled across my mind after the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City. ‘Please don’t be Muslims, please don’t be Muslims.’ The four words I whispered to myself on 9/11 reverberated through the mind of every Muslim American that day and every day after.… Our fear, and the collective breath or brace for the hateful backlash that ensued, symbolize the existential tightrope that defines Muslim American identity today.”
The term “Islamophobia” may be fairly new, but irrational fear and hatred of Islam and Muslims is anything but. Though many speak of Islamophobia’s roots in racism, have we considered how anti-Muslim rhetoric is rooted in our legal system?
Using his unique lens as a critical race theorist and law professor, Khaled A. Beydoun captures the many ways in which law, policy, and official state rhetoric have fueled the frightening resurgence of Islamophobia in the United States. Beydoun charts its long and terrible history, from the plight of enslaved African Muslims in the antebellum South and the laws prohibiting Muslim immigrants from becoming citizens to the ways the war on terror assigns blame for any terrorist act to Islam and the myriad trials Muslim Americans face in the Trump era. He passionately argues that by failing to frame Islamophobia as a system of bigotry endorsed and emboldened by law and carried out by government actors, U.S. society ignores the injury it inflicts on both Muslims and non-Muslims. Through the stories of Muslim Americans who have experienced Islamophobia across various racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines, Beydoun shares how U.S. laws shatter lives, whether directly or inadvertently. And with an eye toward benefiting society as a whole, he recommends ways for Muslim Americans and their allies to build coalitions with other groups. Like no book before it, American Islamophobia offers a robust and genuine portrait of Muslim America then and now.” From Publisher’s Website.
|American Sherlock: Remembering a Pioneer in Scientific Crime Investigation, by Evan E. Filby.Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. 2019. 312p.
“Luke S. May played a significant role in the development of scientific methods of crime investigation. Although basically self-taught in scientific matters, May spent over a half century practicing scientific crime detection and built a solid reputation among police agencies and attorneys in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada as a serious and effective scientific investigator. This reputation as “America’s Sherlock Holmes” also led to his being consulted on the establishment of the first full service public American crime laboratory at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, and on a laboratory for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
When May began, few people, anywhere, used scientific tools to investigate crime. Except for a couple of minimal installations in Europe, there were no crime labs. So to solve his cases – criminal and civil – May improved or invented techniques in every area of forensic science in the era before public crime laboratories. Along the way, he exchanged ideas with many other well-known crime fighting pioneers.
American Sherlock: Remembering a Pioneer in Scientific Crime Investigation is the biography of this innovative criminologist, giving a case-based account of his life and honoring him as one of the pioneers of scientific crime detection.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Appearance Bias and Crime, edited by Bonnie Berry. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019. 308p.
“Relying on experts in criminology and sociology, Appearance Bias and Crime describes the role of bias against citizens based on their physical appearance. From the point of suspicion to the decisions to arrest, convict, sentence, and apply the death penalty, crime control agents are influenced by the appearance of offenders; moreover, victims of crime are held blameworthy depending on their physical appearance. The editor and contributing authors discuss timely topics such as Black Lives Matter, terrorism, LGBTQ appearance, human trafficking, Indigenous appearance, the disabled, and the attractive versus unattractive among us. Demographic traits such as race, gender, age, and social class influence physical appearance and, thus, judgments about criminal involvement and victimization. This volume describes the social movements relevant to appearance bias, recommends legislative and policy changes, offers practical advice to social control agencies on how to reduce appearance bias, and proposes a new sub-discipline of appearance criminology.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Baron and the Marquis: Liberty, Tyranny, and the Enlightenment Maxim That Can Remake American Criminal Justice, by John D. Bessler. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2019. 540p.
“The Baron and the Marquis explores the history of the maxim that articulates what is now known as the parsimony principle. That maxim: any punishment that goes beyond necessity is “tyrannical.” First articulated by Baron de Montesquieu and later publicized by the Italian criminal-law theorist, the Marquis Beccaria, that maxim shaped the American and French Revolutions and set the dividing line between tyranny and liberty. Thomas Jefferson believed only absolute necessity justified punishment, and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789) similarly allowed only “strictly and obviously necessary” punishments. In The Baron and the Marquis, award-winning author John Bessler shows the maxim’s modern-day implications for capital punishment, prolonged solitary confinement, and mass incarceration. The book argues that unnecessary punishments violate the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment as “excessive” and “cruel and unusual.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Beyond Cages: Animal Law and Criminal Punishment, by Justin Marceau. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019. 298p.
“For all the diversity of views within the animal protection movement, there is a surprising consensus about the need for more severe criminal justice interventions against animal abusers. More prosecutions and longer sentences, it is argued, will advance the status of animals in law and society. Breaking from this mold, Professor Justin Marceau demonstrates that a focus on ‘carceral animal law’ puts the animal rights movement at odds with other social justice movements, and may be bad for humans and animals alike. Animal protection efforts need to move beyond cages and towards systemic solutions if the movement hopes to be true to its own defining ethos of increased empathy and resistance to social oppression. Providing new insights into how the lessons of criminal justice reform should be imported into the animal abuse context, Beyond Cages is a valuable contribution to the literature on animal welfare and animal rights law.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Bleeding Out: The Devastating Consequences of Urban Violence – And A Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets, by Thomas Abt. New York: Basic Books, 2019. 304p.
“Urban violence is one of the most divisive and allegedly intractable issues of our time. But as Harvard scholar Thomas Abt shows in Bleeding Out, we actually possess all the tools necessary to stem violence in our cities.
Coupling the latest social science with firsthand experience as a crime-fighter, Abt proposes a relentless focus on violence itself—not drugs, gangs, or guns. Because violence is “sticky,” clustering among small groups of people and places, it can be predicted and prevented using a series of smart-on-crime strategies that do not require new laws or big budgets. Bringing these strategies together, Abt offers a concrete, cost-effective plan to reduce homicides by over 50 percent in eight years, saving more than 12,000 lives nationally. Violence acts as a linchpin for urban poverty, so curbing such crime can unlock the untapped potential of our cities’ most disadvantaged communities and help us to bridge the nation’s larger economic and social divides Urgent yet hopeful, Bleeding Out offers practical solutions to the national emergency of urban violence—and challenges readers to demand action.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Capital Defense: Inside the Lives of America’s Death Penalty Lawyers, by Jon B. Gould and Maya Pagni Barak. New York: New York University Press, 2019. 152p.
“What motivates someone to make a career out of defending some of the worst suspected killers of our time? In Capital Defense, Jon B. Gould and Maya Pagni Barak give us a glimpse into the lives of lawyers who choose to work in the darkest corner of our criminal justice system: death penalty cases. Based on in-depth personal interviews with a cross-section of the nation’s top capital defense teams, the book explores the unusual few who voluntarily represent society’s “worst of the worst.”
With a compassionate and careful eye, Gould and Barak chronicle the experiences of American lawyers, who—like soldiers or surgeons—operate under the highest of stakes, where verdicts have the power to either “take death off the table” or put clients on “the conveyor belt towards death.” These lawyers are a rare breed in a field that is otherwise seen as dirty work and in a system that is overburdened, under-resourced, and overshadowed by social, cultural, and political pressures.
Examining the ugliest side of our criminal justice system, Capital Defense offers an up-close perspective on the capital litigation process and its impact on the people who participate in it.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life, edited by Ruha Benjamin. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019. 416p.
“From electronic ankle monitors and predictive-policing algorithms to workplace surveillance systems, technologies originally developed for policing and prisons have rapidly expanded into nonjuridical domains, including hospitals, schools, banking, social services, shopping malls, and digital life. Rooted in the logics of racial disparity and subjugation, these purportedly unbiased technologies not only extend prison spaces into the public sphere but also deepen racial hierarchies and engender new systems for social control. The contributors to Captivating Technology examine how carceral technologies are being deployed to classify and coerce specific populations and whether these innovations can be resisted and reimagined for more liberatory ends. Moving from traditional sites of imprisonment to the arenas of everyday life being reshaped by carceral technoscience, this volume culminates in a sustained focus on justice-oriented approaches to science and technology that blends historical, speculative, and biographical methods to envision new futures made possible.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The City: Suggestions for Investigation of Human Behavior in the Urban Environment, by Robert E. Park and Ernest W. Burgess, with a forward by Robert J. Sampson. Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press, 2019. (Reprint edition)
“The City, first published in 1925 and reprinted here in its entirety, is a cross-section of concerns of the Chicago urban school during the period of its most intense activity. Park and Burgess realized that ecological and economic factors were converted into a social organization by the traditions and aspirations of city dwellers. In their efforts to achieve objectivity, these sociologists never lost sight of the values that propel human beings.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Coastal Lives: Nature, Capital, and the Struggle for Artisanal Fisheries in Peru, by Maximilian Viatori and Hector Bombiella. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2019. 240p.
“Peru’s fisheries are in crisis as overfishing and ecological changes produce dramatic fluctuations in fish stocks. To address this crisis, government officials have claimed that fishers need to become responsible producers who create economic advantages by taking better care of the ocean ecologies they exploit.
In Coastal Lives, Maximilian Viatori and Héctor Bombiella argue that this has not made Peru’s fisheries more sustainable. Through a fine-grained ethnographic and historical account of Lima’s fisheries, the authors reveal that new government regimes of entrepreneurial agency have placed overwhelming burdens on the city’s impoverished artisanal fishers to demonstrate that they are responsible producers and have created failures that can be used to justify closing these fishers’ traditional use areas and to deny their historically sanctioned rights. The result is a critical examination of how neoliberalized visions of nature and individual responsibility work to normalize the dispossessions that have enabled ongoing capital accumulation at the cost of growing social dislocations and ecological degradation.
The authors’ innovative approach to the politics of constructing and degrading coastal lives will interest a wide range of scholars in cultural anthropology, environmental humanities, and Latin American studies, as well as policymakers and anyone concerned with inequality, global food systems, and multispecies ecologies.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Crime and Punishment in the Jim Crow South, edited by Amy Louise Wood and Natalie J. Ring. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. 2019. 240p.
“Policing, incarceration, capital punishment: these forms of crime control were crucial elements of Jim Crow regimes. White southerners relied on them to assert and maintain racial power, which led to the growth of modern state bureaucracies that eclipsed traditions of local sovereignty. Friction between the demands of white supremacy and white southern suspicions of state power created a distinctive criminal justice system in the South, elements of which are still apparent today across the United States.
In this collection, Amy Louise Wood and Natalie J. Ring present nine groundbreaking essays about the carceral system and its development over time. Topics range from activism against police brutality to the peculiar path of southern prison reform to the fraught introduction of the electric chair. The essays tell nuanced stories of rapidly changing state institutions, political leaders who sought to manage them, and African Americans who appealed to the regulatory state to protect their rights.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Crimes of Wildlife Trafficking: Issues of Justice, Legality and Morality, by Ragnhild Aslaug Sollund. Abingdon, Oxon; New York: Routledge, 2019. 288p.
“This book examines trade and trafficking in endangered animal species and how the trade increasingly puts large numbers of nonhuman species at risk. Focusing on illegal trafficking, the book also discusses the harmful aspects of the trade and trafficking which is taking place in concordance with laws and regulations. Drawing on the findings of empirical research from Norway and Colombia, the study discusses how this global, transnational trend is addressed, and features of the trade and the ways in which it is controlled in the two case study locations. It also explores the motives driving the trade, and the consequences in terms of animal abuse and environmental harm. The book discusses whether internationally agreed measures, such as international conventions, actually help prevent the trade. Possible ways to address the harms of wildlife trade are considered, including a total ban. The work draws on a green criminology and eco feminist theoretical framework to provide a broad perspective on concepts such as harm, animal rights, species justice and speciesism.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Disrupting Rape Culture: Public Space, Sexuality and Revolt, by Alexandra Ranghanel. Bristol, UK: Bristol University Press, 2019. 176p.
“Pussy grabbing; hot mommas; topless protest; nasty women. Whether hypersexualised, desexualised, venerated or maligned, women’s bodies in public space continue to be framed as a problem. A problem that is discursively ‘solved’ by the continued proliferation of rape culture in everyday life.
Indeed, despite the rise in research and public awareness about rape culture and sexism in contemporary debates, gendered violence continues to be normalised.
Using case studies from the US and UK – the de/sexualised pregnancy, the troublesome naked protest, the errant BDSM player – Fanghanel interrogates how the female body is figured through, and revolts against, gendered violence.
Rape culture currently thrives. This book demonstrates how it happens, the politics that are mobilised to sustain it, and how we might act to contest it.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Earl Warren, Ernesto Miranda, and Terrorism, by Amos N. Guiora. Northport, NY: Twelve Tables Press, 2018. 334p.
“Would Chief Justice Earl Warren apply Miranda v. Arizona to terrorists today? This is not a biography of Warren; that task has been admirably accomplished by others. Inquiring whether Warren would apply Miranda to terrorism requires that we travel back in time to answer the question posed. The question is brought to the fore after every act of terrorism committed by an American on U.S. soil. And the fact that President Obama and Attorney General Holder could not agree highlights the complexity and controversy of the issue.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Entryways to Criminal Justice: Accusation and Criminalization in Canada, edited by George Pavlich and Matthew P. Unger. Edmonton, Alberta: University of Alberta Press, 2019. 240p.
“Entryways to Criminal Justice analyzes the thresholds that distinguish law-abiding individuals from those who may be criminalized. Contributors to the volume adopt social, historical, cultural, and political perspectives to explore the accusatory process that place persons in contact with the law. Emphasizing the gateways to criminal justice, truth-telling, and overcriminalization, the authors provide important insights into often overlooked practices that admit persons to criminal justice. It is essential reading for scholars, students, and policy makers in the fields of socio-legal studies, sociology, criminology, law and society, and post/colonial studies.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, by Casey Cep. New York: Knopf, 2019. 314p.
“Nobody recognized her. Harper Lee was well known, but not by sight, and if she hadn’t introduced herself, it’s unlikely that anyone in the courtroom would have figured out who she was. Hundreds of people were crowded into the gallery, filling the wooden benches that squeaked whenever someone moved or leaning against the back wall if they hadn’t arrived in time for a seat. Late September wasn’t late enough for the Alabama heat to have died down, and the air-conditioning in the courthouse wasn’t working, so the women waved fans while the men’s suits grew damp under their arms and around their collars. The spectators whispered from time to time, and every so often they laughed—an uneasy laughter that evaporated whenever the judge quieted them.
The defendant was black, but the lawyers were white, and so were the judge and the jury. The charge was murder in the first degree. Three months before, at the funeral of a sixteen-year-old girl, the man with his legs crossed patiently beside the defense table had pulled a pistol from the inside pocket of his jacket and shot the Reverend Willie Maxwell three times in the head. Three hundred people had seen him do it. Many of them were now at his trial, not to learn why he had killed the Reverend—everyone in three counties knew that, and some were surprised no one had done it sooner—but to understand the disturbing series of deaths that had come before the one they’d witnessed.
One by one, over a period of seven years, six people close to the Reverend had died under circumstances that nearly everyone agreed were suspicious and some deemed supernatural. Through all of the resulting investigations, the Reverend was represented by a lawyer named Tom Radney, whose presence in the courtroom that day wouldn’t have been remarkable had he not been there to defend the man who killed his former client. A Kennedy liberal in the Wallace South, Radney was used to making headlines, and this time he would make them far beyond the local Alexander City Outlook. Reporters from the Associated Press and other wire services, along with national magazines and newspapers including Newsweek and The New York Times, had flocked to Alexander City to cover what was already being called the tale of the murderous voodoo preacher and the vigilante who shot him.
One of the reporters, though, wasn’t constrained by a daily deadline. Harper Lee lived in Manhattan but still spent some of each year in Monroeville, the town where she was born and raised, only 150 miles away from Alex City. Seventeen years had passed since she’d published To Kill a Mockingbird and twelve since she’d finished helping her friend Truman Capote report the crime story in Kansas that became In Cold Blood. Now, finally, she was ready to try again. One of the state’s best trial lawyers was arguing one of the state’s strangest cases, and the state’s most famous author was there to write about it. She would spend a year in town investigating the case, and many more turning it into prose. The mystery in the courtroom that day was what would become of the man who shot the Reverend Willie Maxwell. But for decades after the verdict, the mystery was what became of Harper Lee’s book.“ Book Excerpt.
|Global Forensic Cultures: Making Fact and Justice in the Modern Era, edited by Ian Burney and Christopher Hamlin. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019. 356p.
“Contemporary forensic science has achieved unprecedented visibility as a compelling example of applied expertise. But the common public view—that we are living in an era of forensic deliverance, one exemplified by DNA typing—has masked the reality: that forensic science has always been unique, problematic, and contested. Global Forensic Cultures aims to rectify this problem by recognizing the universality of forensic questions and the variety of practices and institutions constructed to answer them.
Groundbreaking essays written by leaders in the field address the complex and contentious histories of forensic techniques. Contributors also examine the co-evolution of these techniques with the professions creating and using them, with the systems of governance and jurisprudence in which they are used, and with the socioeconomic, political, racial, and gendered settings of that use. Exploring the profound effect of “location” (temporal and spatial) on the production and enactment of forms of forensic knowledge during the century before CSI became a household acronym, the book explores numerous related topics, including the notion of burden of proof, changing roles of experts and witnesses, the development and dissemination of forensic techniques and skills, the financial and practical constraints facing investigators, and cultures of forensics and of criminality within and against which forensic practitioners operate.
Covering sites of modern and historic forensic innovation in the United States, Europe, and farther-flung imperial and global settings, these essays tell stories of blood, poison, corpses; tracking persons and attesting documents; truth-making, egregious racism, and sinister surveillance. Each chapter is a finely grained case study. Collectively, Global Forensic Cultures supplies a historical foundation for the critical appraisal of contemporary forensic institutions which has begun in the wake of DNA-based exonerations.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Gotti’s Boys: The Mafia Crew that Killed for John Gotti, by Anthony M. DeStefano. Kensington Publishing, 2019. 288p.
“They called him the “Teflon Don.” But in his short reign as the head of the Gambino crime family, John Gotti wracked up a lifetime of charges from gambling, extortion, and tax evasion to racketeering, conspiracy, and five convictions of murder. He didn’t do it alone. Surrounding himself with a rogues gallery of contract killers, fixers, and enforcers, he built one of the richest, most powerful crime empires in modern history. Who were these men? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anthony M. DeStefano takes you inside Gotti’s inner circle to reveal the dark hearts and violent deeds of the most remorseless and cold-blooded characters in organized crime. Men so vicious even the other Mafia families were terrified of them. Meet Gotti’s Boys . . .
* Charles Carneglia: the ruthless junkyard dog who allegedly disposed of bodies for the mob—by dissolving them in acid then displaying their jewels.
* Gene Gotti: the younger Gotti brother who ran a multimillion-dollar drug smuggling ring—enraging his bosses in the Gambino family.
* Angelo “Quack-Quack” Ruggiero: the loose-lipped contract killer who was wire-tapped by the FBI—and dared to insult Gotti behind his back.
* Tony “Roach” Rampino: the hardcore stoner who looked like a cockroach—and used his gangly arms and horror-mask face to frighten his enemies.
* “Sammy the Bull” Gravano: the Gambino underboss who helped John Gotti execute Gambino mob boss Paul Castellano—then sang like a canary to take Gotti down.
Rounding out this nefarious group were the likes of Frank DeCicco, Vincent Artuso, and Joe “The German” Watts, a man who wasn’t a Mafiosi but had all of the power and prestige of one in John Gotti’s slaughterhouse crew. Gotti’s Boys is a killer line-up of the crime-hardened mob soldiers who killed at their ruthless leader’s merciless bidding—brought to vivid life by the prize-winning chronicler of the American mob.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Gun Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Politics, Policy and Practice, edited by Jennifer Carlson, Kristin A. Goss and Harel Shapira. Abingdon, Oxon; New York: Routledge, 2019. 356p.
“As cultural, social, political, and historical objects, guns are rich with complex and contested significance. What guns mean, why they matter, and what policies should be undertaken to regulate guns remain issues of vigorous scholarly and public debate.
Gun Studies offers fresh research and original perspectives on the contentious issue of firearms in public life. Comprising global, interdisciplinary contributions, this insightful volume examines difficult and timely questions through the lens of:
Questions explored include the evolution of American gun culture from recreation to self-protection; the changing dynamics of the pro-gun and pro-regulation movements; the deeply personal role of guns as sources of both injury and security; and the relationship between gun-wielding individuals, the state, and social order in the United States and abroad. In addition to introducing new research, Gun Studies presents reflections by senior scholars on what has been learned over the decades and how gun-related research has influenced public policy and everyday conversations.
Offering provocative and often intimate perspectives on how guns influence individuals, social structures, and the state in both dramatic and nuanced ways, Gun Studies will appeal to students and researchers interested in fields such as sociology, political science, legal history, criminology, criminal justice, social policy, armaments industries, and violent crime. It will also appeal to policy makers and all others interested in and concerned about the use of guns.” From Publisher’s Website
|Handbook of Organised Crime and Politics, edited by Felia Allum and Stan Gilmour. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019. 528p.
“This multidisciplinary Handbook examines the interactions that develop between organised crime groups and politics across the globe. This exciting original collection highlights the difficulties involved in researching such relationships and shines a new light on how they evolve to become pervasive and destructive. This new Handbook brings together a unique group of international academics from sociology, criminology, political science, anthropology, European and international studies – countries such as the United States, Australia and New Zealand, as well as those in Asia and the European Union.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Improperly Obtained Evidence in Anglo-American and Continental Law, by Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos. London: Bloomsbury, 2019. 328p.
“This is the first book to offer an extensive cosmopolitan, cross-cultural insight into the perennial controversy over the use of improperly obtained evidence in criminal trials. It challenges the conventional view that exclusionary rules are idiosyncratic of Anglo-American law, and highlights the ‘constitutionalisation’ and ‘internationalisation’ of criminal evidence and procedure as a cause of rapprochement (or divergence) beyond the Anglo-American and Continental law divide.
Analysis focuses on confessional evidence and evidence obtained by search and seizure, telephone interceptions and other means of electronic surveillance. The laws of England and Wales, France, Greece and the United States are systematically compared and contrasted throughout this study, but, where appropriate, analysis extends to other Anglo-American and Continental legal systems. The book reviews exclusionary rules vis-à-vis the operation of judicial discretion, and explores the normative justifications that underpin them. It attempts to reinvigorate the idea of excluding evidence to protect constitutional or human rights (the rights thesis), arguing that there is significant scope for Anglo-American and Continental legal systems to place a renewed emphasis on it, particularly in relation to confessional evidence obtained in violation of custodial interrogation rights; we can locate an emerging rapprochement, and unique potential for European Court of Human Rights jurisprudence to build consensus in this respect. In marked contrast, remaining divergence with regard to evidence obtained by privacy violations means there is little momentum to adopt a reinvigorated rights thesis more widely.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption, by Richard L. Hasen. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018. 248p.
“Engaging but caustic and openly ideological, Antonin Scalia was among the most influential justices ever to serve on the United States Supreme Court. In this fascinating new book, legal scholar Richard L. Hasen assesses Scalia’s complex legacy as a conservative legal thinker and disruptive public intellectual.
The left saw Scalia as an unscrupulous foe who amplified his judicial role with scathing dissents and outrageous public comments. The right viewed him as a rare principled justice committed to neutral tools of constitutional and statutory interpretation. Hasen provides a more nuanced perspective, demonstrating how Scalia was crucial to reshaping jurisprudence on issues from abortion to gun rights to separation of powers. A jumble of contradictions, Scalia promised neutral tools to legitimize the Supreme Court, but his jurisprudence and confrontational style moved the Court to the right, alienated potential allies, and helped to delegitimize the institution he was trying to save.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Killing Times: The Temporal Technology of the Death Penalty, by David Wills. New York: Fordham University Press, 2019. 288p.
“Killing Times begins with the deceptively simple observation—made by Jacques Derrida in his seminars on the topic—that the death penalty mechanically interrupts mortal time by preempting the typical mortal experience of not knowing at what precise moment we will die. Through a broader examination of what constitutes mortal temporality, David Wills proposes that the so-called machinery of death summoned by the death penalty works by exploiting, or perverting, the machinery of time that is already attached to human existence. Time, Wills argues, functions for us in general as a prosthetic technology, but the application of the death penalty represents a new level of prosthetic intervention into what constitutes the human.
Killing Times traces the logic of the death penalty across a range of sites. Starting with the legal cases whereby American courts have struggled to articulate what methods of execution constitute “cruel and unusual punishment,” Wills goes on to show the ways that technologies of death have themselves evolved in conjunction with ideas of cruelty and instantaneity, from the development of the guillotine and the trap door for hanging, through the firing squad and the electric chair, through today’s controversies surrounding lethal injection. Responding to the legal system’s repeated recourse to storytelling—prosecutors’ and politicians’ endless recounting of the horrors of crimes—Wills gives a careful eye to the narrative, even fictive spaces that surround crime and punishment.
Many of the controversies surrounding capital punishment, Wills argues, revolve around the complex temporality of the death penalty: how its instant works in conjunction with forms of suspension, or extension of time; how its seeming correlation between egregious crime and painless execution is complicated by a number of different discourses.
By pinpointing the temporal technology that marks the death penalty, Wills is able to show capital punishment’s expansive reach, tracing the ways it has come to govern not only executions within the judicial system, but also the opposed but linked categories of the suicide bombing and drone warfare. In discussing the temporal technology of death, Wills elaborates the workings both of the terrorist who produces a simultaneity of crime and “punishment” that bypasses judicial process, and of the security state, in whose remote-control killings the time-space coordinates of “justice” are compressed and at the same time disappear into the black hole of secrecy.
Grounded in a deep ethical and political commitment to death penalty abolition, Wills’s engaging and powerfully argued book pushes the question of capital punishment beyond the confines of legal argument to show how the technology of capital punishment defines and appropriates the instant of death and reconfigures the whole of human mortality.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Last Chance for Life: Clemency in Southeast Asian Death Penalty Cases, by Daniel Pascoe. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2019. 368p.
“All five contemporary practitioners of the death penalty in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)— Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam— have performed executions on a regular basis over the past few decades. NGO Amnesty International currently classifies each of these nations as death penalty ‘retentionists’. However, notwithstanding a common willingness to execute, the number of death sentences passed by courts that are reduced to a term of imprisonment, or where the prisoner is released from custody altogether, through grants of clemency by the executive branch of government, varies remarkably among these neighbouring political allies.
Last Chance for Life: Clemency in Southeast Asian Death Penalty Cases explores the patterns which explain why some countries in the region award clemency far more often than do others in death penalty cases. Over the period under analysis from 1991 to 2016, the regional outliers were Thailand (with more than 95% of condemned prisoners receiving clemency after exhausting judicial appeals) and Singapore (with fewer than 1% of condemned prisoners receiving clemency). Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam fall at points in between these two extremes. What results is the first research monograph, anywhere in the world, to compare death penalty clemency across national borders using empirical methodology, the latter a systematic collection of clemency data in multiple jurisdictions using archival and ‘elite’ interview sources. Last Chance for Life is an authoritative resource for legal practitioners, criminal justice policy makers, scholars and activists throughout the ASEAN region and around the retentionist world.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Last Pirate of New York: A Ghost Ship, A Killer and the Birth of a Gangster Nation, by Rich Cohen. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2019. 256p.
“Handsome and charismatic, Albert Hicks had long been known in the dive bars and gin joints of the Five Points, the most dangerous neighborhood in maritime Manhattan. For years, he operated out of the public eye, rambling from crime to crime, working on the water in ships, sleeping in the nickel-a-night flops, drinking in barrooms where rat-baiting and bear-baiting were great entertainments.
His criminal career reached its peak in 1860, when he was hired, under an alias, as a hand on an oyster sloop. His plan was to rob the ship and flee, disappearing into the teeming streets of lower Manhattan, as he’d done numerous times before, eventually finding his way back to his nearsighted Irish immigrant wife (who, like him, had been disowned by her family) and their infant son. But the plan went awry—the ship was found listing and unmanned in the foggy straits of Coney Island—and the voyage that was to enrich him instead led to his last desperate flight.
Long fascinated by gangster legends, Rich Cohen tells the story of this notorious underworld figure, from his humble origins to the wild, globe-crossing, bacchanalian crime spree that forged his ruthlessness and his reputation, to his ultimate incarnation as a demon who terrorized lower Manhattan, at a time when pirates anchored off 14th Street.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Legal Passing: Navigating Undocumented Life and Local Immigration Law, by Angela S. Garcia. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2019. 280p.
“Legal Passing offers a nuanced look at how the lives of undocumented Mexicans in the US are constantly shaped by federal, state, and local immigration laws. Angela S. García compares restrictive and accommodating immigration measures in various cities and states to show that place-based inclusion and exclusion unfold in seemingly contradictory ways. Instead of fleeing restrictive localities, undocumented Mexicans react by presenting themselves as “legal,” masking the stigma of illegality to avoid local police and federal immigration enforcement. Restrictive laws coerce assimilation, because as legal passing becomes habitual and embodied, immigrants distance themselves from their ethnic and cultural identities. In accommodating destinations, undocumented Mexicans experience a localized sense of stability and membership that is simultaneously undercut by the threat of federal immigration enforcement and complex street-level tensions with local police. Combining social theory on immigration and race as well as place and law, Legal Passing uncovers the everyday failures and long-term human consequences of contemporary immigration laws in the US.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Life and Death in Rikers Island, by Homer Venters. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019. 200p.
“In Life and Death in Rikers Island, Homer Venters, the former chief medical officer for New York City’s jails, explains the profound health risks associated with incarceration. From neglect and sexual abuse to blocked access to care and exposure to brutality, Venters details how jails are designed and run to create new health risks for prisoners—all while forcing doctors and nurses into complicity or silence.
Pairing prisoner experiences with cutting-edge research into prison risk, Venters reveals the disproportionate extent to which the health risks of jail are meted out to those with behavioral health problems and people of color. He also presents compelling data on alternative strategies that can reduce health risks. This revelatory and groundbreaking book concludes with the author’s analysis of the case for closing Rikers Island jails and his advice on how to do it for the good of the incarcerated.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The London Bombings, by Marc Sageman. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019. 312p.
“In The London Bombings, counterterrorism expert Marc Sageman seeks to answer these questions through a new detailed account and analysis of the Underground bombings as well as three other attacks directed at Britain between 2004 and 2006. Drawing on previously unavailable trial transcripts and law enforcement records, terrorists’ self-documentation, and his own government experience in counterterrorism, Sageman makes the case that “top down” and “bottom up” conceptions of terror organizations need not be incompatible and that, in part because of this binary thinking, the West has tended to overreact to the severity of the threat. He stresses the fluid, chaotic ways that terrorist events unfold: spontaneously and gradually with haphazard planning—as the perpetrators are often worldly, educated, and not particularly religious before becoming engaged in neojihadi activities. The London Bombings is a vital, persuasive account of events that have not yet been properly presented to the public and are critical to the foundation of an effective counterterrorism strategy.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Models of Integrity: Art and Law in Post-sixties America, by Joan Kee. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2019. 320p.
“Models of Integrity examines the relationship between contemporary art and the law through the lens of integrity. In the 1960s, artists began to engage conspicuously with legal ideas, rituals, and documents. The law—a primary institution subject to intense moral and political scrutiny—was a widely recognized source of authority to audiences inside the art world and out. Artists frequently engaged with the law in ways that signaled a recuperation of the integrity that they believed had been compromised by the very institutions entrusted with establishing standards of just conduct. These artists sought to convey the social purpose of an artwork without overstating its political impact and without losing sight of how aesthetic decisions compel audiences to see their everyday world differently. Addressing the role that law plays in enabling artworks to function as social and political forces, this important book fills a gap in the field of law and the humanities, and will serve as a practical “how-to” for contemporary artists.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Mothering and Desistance in Re-Entry, by Venezia Michalsen. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2018. 126p.
“Although there is plentiful research on the impact of marriage, employment and the military on desistance from criminal behaviour in the lives of men, far less is known about the factors most important to women’s desistance. Imprisoned women are far more likely than their male counterparts to be the primary caretakers of children before their incarceration, and are far more likely to intend to reunify with their children upon their release from incarceration. This book focuses on the role of mothering in women’s desistance from criminal behaviour.
Drawing on original research, this book explores the nature of mothering during incarceration, how mothers maintain a relationship with their children from behind bars and the ways in which mothering makes desistance more or less likely after incarceration. It outlines the ways in which race, gender, class, nationality, sexuality, gender identity, and other characteristics affect mothering and desistance, and explores the tensions between individual and system-level factors in the consideration of desistance.
This book suggests that any discussion of desistance, particularly for women, must move beyond the traditional focus on individual characteristics and decision-making. Such a focus overlooks the role played by context and systems which undermine both women’s attempts to be mothers and their attempts to desist. By contrast, in the tradition of Beth Richie’s Compelled to Crime, this book explores both the trees and the forests, and the quantum in-between, in a way that aims for lasting societal and individual changes.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power, by Simon Talto. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 2019. 360p.
“In July 1919, an explosive race riot forever changed Chicago. For years, black southerners had been leaving the South as part of the Great Migration. Their arrival in Chicago drew the ire and scorn of many local whites, including members of the city’s political leadership and police department, who generally sympathized with white Chicagoans and viewed black migrants as a problem population. During Chicago’s Red Summer riot, patterns of extraordinary brutality, negligence, and discriminatory policing emerged to shocking effect. Those patterns shifted in subsequent decades, but the overall realities of a racially discriminatory police system persisted.
In this history of Chicago from 1919 to the rise and fall of Black Power in the 1960s and 1970s, Simon Balto narrates the evolution of racially repressive policing in black neighborhoods as well as how black citizen-activists challenged that repression. Balto demonstrates that punitive practices by and inadequate protection from the police were central to black Chicagoans’ lives long before the late-century “wars” on crime and drugs. By exploring the deeper origins of this toxic system, Balto reveals how modern mass incarceration, built upon racialized police practices, emerged as a fully formed machine of profoundly antiblack subjugation.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Peculiar Institution and Making of Modern Psychiatry, 1840-1880, by Wendy Gonover. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2019. 268p.
“Though the origins of asylums can be traced to Europe, the systematic segregation of the mentally ill into specialized institutions occurred in the United States only after 1800, just as the struggle to end slavery took hold. In this book, Wendy Gonaver examines the relationship between these two historical developments, showing how slavery and ideas about race shaped early mental health treatment in the United States, especially in the South. She reveals these connections through the histories of two asylums in Virginia: the Eastern Lunatic Asylum in Williamsburg, the first in the nation; and the Central Lunatic Asylum in Petersburg, the first created specifically for African Americans. Eastern Lunatic Asylum was the only institution to accept both slaves and free blacks as patients and to employ slaves as attendants.
Drawing from these institutions’ untapped archives, Gonaver reveals how slavery influenced ideas about patient liberty, about the proper relationship between caregiver and patient, about what constituted healthy religious belief and unhealthy fanaticism, and about gender. This early form of psychiatric care acted as a precursor to public health policy for generations, and Gonaver’s book fills an important gap in the historiography of mental health and race in the nineteenth century.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico, by Marisol Lebron. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2019. 320p.
“In her exciting new book, Marisol LeBrón traces the rise of punitive governance in Puerto Rico over the course of the twentieth century and up to the present. Punitive governance emerged as a way for the Puerto Rican state to manage the deep and ongoing crises stemming from the archipelago’s incorporation into the United States as a colonial territory. A structuring component of everyday life for many Puerto Ricans, police power has reinforced social inequality and worsened conditions of vulnerability in marginalized communities.
This book provides powerful examples of how Puerto Ricans negotiate and resist their subjection to increased levels of segregation, criminalization, discrimination, and harm. Policing Life and Death shows how Puerto Ricans are actively rejecting punitive solutions and working toward alternative understandings of safety and a more just future.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Prison Land: Mapping Carceral Power across Neoliberal America, by Brett Story. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019. 208p.
“Prison Land offers a geographic excavation of the prison as a set of social relations—including property, work, gender, and race—enacted across various landscapes of American life. Prisons, Brett Story shows, are more than just buildings of incarceration bound to cycles of crime and punishment. Instead, she investigates the production of carceral power at a range of sites, from buses to coalfields and from blighted cities to urban financial hubs, to demonstrate how the organization of carceral space is ideologically and materially grounded in racial capitalism.
Story’s critically acclaimed film The Prison in Twelve Landscapes is based on the same research that informs this book. In both, Story takes an expansive view of what constitutes contemporary carceral space, interrogating the ways in which racial capitalism is reproduced and for which police technologies of containment and control are employed. By framing the prison as a set of social relations, Prison Land forces us to confront the production of new carceral forms that go well beyond the prison system. In doing so, it profoundly undermines both conventional ideas of prisons as logical responses to the problem of crime and attachment to punishment as the relevant measure of a transformed criminal justice system.” From Publishers’ Website.
|Prison of Democracy: Race, Leavenworth, and the Culture of Law, by Sara M. Benson. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2019.
“Built in the 1890s at the center of the nation, Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary was designed specifically to be a replica of the US Capitol Building. But why? The Prison of Democracy explains the political significance of a prison built to mimic one of America’s monuments to democracy. Locating Leavenworth in memory, history, and law, the prison geographically sits at the borders of Indian Territory (1825–1854) and Bleeding Kansas (1854–1864), both sites of contestation over slavery and freedom. Author Sara M. Benson argues that Leavenworth reshaped the design of punishment in America by gradually normalizing state-inflicted violence against citizens. Leavenworth’s peculiar architecture illustrates the real roots of mass incarceration—as an explicitly race- and nation-building system that has been ingrained in the very fabric of US history rather than as part of a recent post-war racial history. The book sheds light on the truth of the painful relationship between the carceral state and democracy in the US—a relationship that thrives to this day.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking in Women: Israel’s Blood Money, edited by Esther Hertzog and Erella Shadmi. Abingdon, Oxon; New York: Routledge. 2019. 212p.
“This book critically analyzes the sex industry in Israel, using feminist concepts and scholarship to elaborate on the power of prostitution to shape a world in which women are objects for fulfilling men’s desires. A comprehensive collection of research-based articles that examine prostitution, trafficking in women and pornography from divergent disciplinary angles, it reveals the interconnectedness of these three aspects of the sex trade which objectifies, commercializes and exploits human – and in particular women’s – sexuality. Showing these practices to be embedded in a capitalist and patriarchal oppressive context that is accommodated by state institutions, this volume rejects the argument that it is possible to choose prostitution, and that feminist pornography is possible.
With case studies including the conspicuous context of migration that attracts sex traffickers, the liberal discourse introduced by cinema, the media and the arts that serve to legitimate prostitution and pornography, the chauvinist-macho culture that perceives and treats women as sex objects, and the issues of male prostitution and men as clients, Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking in Women: Israel’s Blood Money constitutes a study of Israel as a unique context in which the sex trade can prosper, in spite of geographical, religious and institutional constraints. As such, it will be of interest to scholars of sociology, anthropology, history, cultural studies and gender and women’s studies.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Recalibrating Juvenile Detention: Lessons Learned from the Court-Ordered Reform of the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, by David W. Roush. New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis, 2019. 582p.
“Recalibrating Juvenile Detention chronicles the lessons learned from the 2007 to 2015 landmark US District Court-ordered reform of the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) in Illinois, following years of litigation by the ACLU about egregious and unconstitutional conditions of confinement. In addition to explaining the implications of the Court’s actions, the book includes an analysis of a major evaluation research report by the University of Chicago Crime Lab and explains for scholars, practitioners, administrators, policymakers, and advocates how and why this particular reform of conditions achieved successful outcomes when others failed.
Maintaining that the Chicago Crime Lab findings are the “gold standard” evidence-based research (EBR) in pretrial detention, Roush holds that the observed “firsts” for juvenile detention may perhaps have the power to transform all custody practices. He shows that the findings validate a new model of institutional reform based on cognitive-behavioral programming (CBT), reveal statistically significant reductions in in-custody violence and recidivism, and demonstrate that at least one variation of short-term secure custody can influence positively certain life outcomes for Chicago’s highest-risk and most disadvantaged youth. With the Quarterly Journal of Economics imprimatur and endorsement by the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, the book is a reverse engineering of these once-in-a-lifetime events (recidivism reduction and EBR in pretrial detention) that explains the important and transformative implications for the future of juvenile justice practice. The book is essential reading for graduate students in juvenile justice, criminology, and corrections, as well as practitioners, judges, and policymakers.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Routledge International Handbook of Islamophobia, edited by Irene Zempi and Imran Awan. London; New York: Routledge, 2019. 430p.
“Islamophobic hate crimes have increased significantly following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and 7/7. More recently, the rhetoric surrounding Trump’s election and presidency, Brexit, the rise of far-right groups and ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks worldwide have promoted a climate where Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiments have become ‘legitimised’.
The Routledge International Handbook of Islamophobia provides a comprehensive single-volume collection of key readings in Islamophobia. Consisting of 32 chapters accessibly written by scholars, policy makers and practitioners, it seeks to examine the nature, extent, implications of, and responses to Islamophobic hate crime both nationally and internationally.
This volume will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as postdoctoral researchers interested in fields such as Criminology, Victimology, Sociology, Social Policy, Religious Studies, Law and related Social Sciences subjects. It will also appeal to scholars, policy makers and practitioners working in and around the areas of Islamophobic hate crimes.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Sex and Stigma: Stories of Everyday Life, by Sarah Jane Blithe. New York: New York University Press, 2019. 320p.
“The state of Nevada is the only jurisdiction in the United States where prostitution is legal. Wrapped in moral judgments about sexual conduct and shrouded in titillating intrigue, stories about Nevada’s legal brothels regularly steal headlines. The stigma and secrecy pervading sex work contribute to experiences of oppression and unfair labor practices for many legal prostitutes in Nevada. Sex and Stigma engages with stories of women living and working in these “hidden” organizations to interrogate issues related to labor rights, secrecy, privacy, and discrimination in the current legal brothel system.
Including interviews with current and former legal sex workers, brothel owners, madams, local police, and others, Sex and Stigma examines how widespread beliefs about the immorality of selling sexual services have influenced the history and laws of legal brothel prostitution. With unique access to a difficult-to-reach population, the authors privilege the voices of brothel workers throughout the book as they reflect on their struggles to engage in their communities, conduct business, maintain personal relationships, and transition out of the industry. Further, the authors examine how these brothels operate like other kinds of legal entities, and how individuals contend with balancing work and non-work commitments, navigate work place cultures, and handle managerial relationships. Sex and Stigma serves as a resource on the policies guiding legal prostitution in Nevada and provides an intimate look at the lived experiences of women performing sex work.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Silent Cells: The Secret Drugging of Captive America, by Anthony Ryan Hatch. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019. 184p.
“For at least four decades, U.S. prisons and jails have aggressively turned to psychotropic drugs—antidepressants, antipsychotics, sedatives, and tranquilizers—to silence inmates, whether or not they have been diagnosed with mental illnesses. In Silent Cells, Anthony Ryan Hatch demonstrates that the pervasive use of psychotropic drugs has not only defined and enabled mass incarceration but has also become central to other forms of captivity, including foster homes, military and immigrant detention centers, and nursing homes.
Silent Cells shows how, in shockingly large numbers, federal, state, and local governments and government-authorized private agencies pacify people with drugs, uncovering patterns of institutional violence that threaten basic human and civil rights. Drawing on publicly available records, Hatch unearths the coercive ways that psychotropics serve to manufacture compliance and docility, practices hidden behind layers of state secrecy, medical complicity, and corporate profiteering.
Psychotropics, Hatch shows, are integral to “technocorrectional” policies devised to minimize public costs and increase the private profitability of mass captivity while guaranteeing public safety and national security. This broad indictment of psychotropics is therefore animated by a radical counterfactual question: would incarceration on the scale practiced in the United States even be possible without psychotropics?” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Smugglers’ World Illicit Trade and Atlantic Communities in Eighteenth-Century Venezuela, by Jesse Cromwell. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018. 336p.
“The Smugglers’ World examines a critical part of Atlantic trade for a neglected corner of the Spanish Empire. Testimonies of smugglers, buyers, and royal officials found in Venezuelan prize court records reveal a colony enmeshed in covert commerce. Forsaken by the Spanish fleet system, Venezuelan colonists struggled to obtain European foods and goods. They found a solution in exchanging cacao, a coveted luxury, for the necessities of life provided by contrabandists from the Dutch, English, and French Caribbean.
Jesse Cromwell paints a vivid picture of the lives of littoral peoples who normalized their subversions of imperial law. Yet laws and borders began to matter when the Spanish state cracked down on illicit commerce in the 1720s as part of early Bourbon reforms. Now successful merchants could become convict laborers just as easily as enslaved Africans could become free traders along the unruly coastlines of the Spanish Main. Smuggling became more than an economic transaction or imperial worry; persistent local need elevated the practice to a communal ethos, and Venezuelans defended their commercial autonomy through passive measures and even violent political protests. Negotiations between the Spanish state and its subjects over smuggling formed a key part of empire making and maintenance in the eighteenth century.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Squeezing Silver: Peru’s Trial Against Nelson Bunker Hunt, by Mark A. Cymrot. Northport, NY: Twelve Tables Press, 2018. 453p.
“Famed Nelson Bunker Hunt, Mahmoud Fustok – brother in law to Crown Prince (later King) Abdullah of Saudi Arabia – and with others manipulated silver prices from $9 to $51 in four months in 1979-80 while meeting at thoroughbred horse events, five-star hotels and posh restaurants. When prices crashed three months later, and the Hunt family defaulted on debts, their defaults threatened the US economy with collapse. Paul Volcker, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, engineered a highly controversial bail out of Bunker Hunt to save the US economy. Squeezing Silver is a legal thriller that takes the reader inside the courtroom of one of the most important trials of recent decades, which chronicled the near collapse of the US economy.” From Publisher’s Website.
|There is No More Haiti: Between Life and Death in Port-au-Prince, by Greg Beckett. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. 2019. 312p.
“This is not just another book about crisis in Haiti. This book is about what it feels like to live and die with a crisis that never seems to end. It is about the experience of living amid the ruins of ecological devastation, economic collapse, political upheaval, violence, and humanitarian disaster. It is about how catastrophic events and political and economic forces shape the most intimate aspects of everyday life. In this gripping account, anthropologist Greg Beckett offers a stunning ethnographic portrait of ordinary people struggling to survive in Port-au-Prince in the twenty-first century. Drawing on over a decade of research, There Is No More Haiti builds on stories of death and rebirth to powerfully reframe the narrative of a country in crisis. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Haiti today.” From Publisher’s Website.
|A Thousand Thirsty Beaches: Smuggling Alcohol from Cuba to the South During Prohibition, by Lisa Lindquist Dorr. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018. 312p.
“Lisa Lindquist Dorr tells the story of the vast smuggling network that brought high-end distilled spirits and, eventually, other cargoes (including undocumented immigrants) from Great Britain and Europe through Cuba to the United States between 1920 and the end of Prohibition. Because of their proximity to liquor-exporting islands, the numerous beaches along the southern coast presented ideal landing points for smugglers and distribution points for their supply networks. From the warehouses of liquor wholesalers in Havana to the decks of rum runners to transportation networks heading northward, Dorr explores these operations, from the people who ran the trade to the determined efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard and other law enforcement agencies to stop liquor traffic on the high seas, in Cuba, and in southern communities. In the process, she shows the role smuggling played in creating a more transnational, enterprising, and modern South.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Times Square Red, Times Square Blue, by Samuel R. Delany, with a new introduction by Robert Reid-Pharr. 20th Anniversary Edition. New York: New York University Press, 2019.
“In the two decades that preceded the original publication of Times Square Red, Times Square Blue, Forty-second Street, then the most infamous street in America, was being remade into a sanitized tourist haven. In the forced disappearance of porn theaters, peep shows, and street hustlers to make room for a Disney store, a children’s theater, and large, neon-lit cafes, Samuel R. Delany saw a disappearance, not only of the old Times Square, but of the complex social relationships that developed there.
Samuel R. Delany bore witness to the dismantling of the institutions that promoted points of contact between people of different classes and races in a public space, and in this hybrid text, argues for the necessity of public restrooms and tree-filled parks to a city’s physical and psychological landscape.
This twentieth anniversary edition includes a new foreword by Robert Reid-Pharr that traces the importance and continued resonances of Samuel R. Delany’s groundbreaking Times Square Red, Times Square Blue.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Torture as State Crime: A Criminological Analysis of the Transnational Institutional Torturer, by Melanie Collard. Abingdon, OXON: Routledge, 2019.
“Can we understand torture by focusing on the torture chamber or even on the states in which it is practiced, or do we have to consider the wider political context in which it is embedded? This is the central question of this book which explores concepts of state crime for understanding and responding to the indirect use of torture by external nation states.
Drawing on the cooperation between France and Argentina in Argentina’s Dirty War, this book explores the utility of the concept of state crime for understanding and responding to the indirect use of torture by external nation states with a detailed examination of the exportation of torture techniques and training expertise as complicity in torture. Discussing the institutionalisation of torture in its international structural context, this book focuses on examining three alleged manifestations of the torturer: direct perpetrator, institutional perpetrator, and transnational institutional perpetrator.
Important reading for those in the fields of criminology, sociology, international relations and human rights law, this book will also be of key interest to scholars and students in the areas of state crime, human rights and imperialism.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago, by Flint Taylor. Chicago: Haymarket Books. 2019. 556p.
“With his colleagues at the People’s Law Office (PLO), Taylor has argued landmark civil rights cases that have exposed corruption and cover-ups within the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and throughout the city’s corrupt political machine.
The Torture Machine takes the reader from the 1969 murders of Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton and Panther Mark Clark—and the historic, thirteen-years of litigation that followed—through the dogged pursuit of commander Jon Burge, the leader of a torture ring within the CPD that used barbaric methods, including electric shock, to elicit false confessions from suspects.
Joining forces with community activists, torture survivors and their families, other lawyers, and local reporters, Taylor and the PLO gathered evidence from multiple cases to bring suit against the CPD officers and the City of Chicago. As the struggle expanded beyond the torture scandal to the ultimately successful campaign to end the death penalty in Illinois, and obtained reparations for many of the torture survivors, it set human rights precedents that have since been adopted across the United States.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Tragedy in Aurora: The Culture of Mass Shootings in America, by Tom Diaz with Sandy Phillips, and Lonnie Phillips. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019. 304p.
“Tragedy in Aurora is about the 2012 murder of budding sports journalist Jessica (Jessi) Redfield Ghawi in a public mass shooting, and the widening circle of pain it inflicted on her family, friends, police, medical first responders, and others. The book is at the same time a deep examination of the causes and potential cures of the quintessential 21st century American sickness—public mass shootings. At the heart of that examination is an unpacking of America’s deep polarization and political gridlock. It addresses head on the question of why? Why is American gun violence so different from other countries? Why does nothing seem to change?
The “Parkland kids” inspired hope of change. But the ultimate questions stubbornly remain—what should, what can, and what will Americans do to reduce gun violence? Tragedy in Aurora argues that the answer lies in a conscious cultural redefinition of American civic order.
Over recent decades, America has defined a cultural “new normal” about guns and gun violence. Americans express formalistic dismay after every public mass shooting. But many accept gun violence as an inevitable, even necessary, and to some laudable part of what it means to be “American.” Although Americans claim to be shocked with each new outrage, so far they have failed to coalesce around an effective way to reduce gun death and injury. The debate is bogged down in polarized and profoundly ideological political and cultural argument. Meanwhile, America continues to lead the globe in its pandemic levels of gun deaths and injuries. Combined with the cynical “learned helplessness” of its politicians, the result is gridlock and a growing roll of victims of carnage.
Is there a path out of this cultural and political gridlock? Tragedy in Aurora argues that if America is to reduce gun violence it must expand the debate and confront the fundamental question of “who are we?” Tom Diaz gives a new understanding of American culture and the potential for change offered by the growing number and ongoing organization of victims and survivors of gun violence. Without conscious cultural change, the book argues, there is little prospect of effective laws or public policy to reduce gun violence in general and public mass shootings in particular.” From Publisher’s Website