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.
|Asphalm, Roberto R. Views from the Streets: The Transformation of Gangs and Violence on Chicago’s South Side. New York: Columbia University Press, 2019.
“Chicago has long served as a symbol of urban pathology in the public imagination. The city’s staggering levels of violence and entrenched gang culture occupy a central place in the national discourse, yet remain poorly understood and are often stereotyped. Views from the Streets explains the dramatic transformation of black street gangs on Chicago’s South Side during the early twenty-first century, shedding new light on why gang violence persists and what might be done to address it.
Drawing on years of community work and in-depth interviews with gang members, Roberto R. Aspholm describes in vivid detail the internal rebellions that shattered the city’s infamous corporate-style African American street gangs. He explores how, in the wake of these uprisings, young gang members have radically refashioned gang culture and organization on Chicago’s South Side, rejecting traditional hierarchies and ideologies and instead embracing a fierce ethos of personal autonomy that has made contemporary gang violence increasingly spontaneous and unregulated. In calling attention to the historical context of these issues and to the elements of resistance embedded in Chicago’s contemporary gang culture, Aspholm challenges conventional views of gang members as inherently pathological. He critically analyzes highly touted “universal” violence prevention strategies, depicting street-level realities to illuminate why they have ultimately failed to reduce levels of bloodshed. An unprecedented analysis of the nature and meaning of gang violence, Views from the Streets proposes an alternative framework for addressing the seemingly intractable issues of inequality, despair, and violence in Chicago.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Aviram, Hadar. Yesterday’s Monster: The Manson Family Cases and the Illusion of Parole. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2020.
“In 1969, the world was shocked by a series of murders committed by Charles Manson and his “family” of followers. Although the defendants were sentenced to death in 1971, their sentences were commuted to life with parole in 1972; since 1978, they have been regularly attending parole hearings. Today all of the living defendants remain behind bars.
Relying on nearly fifty years of parole hearing transcripts, as well as interviews and archival materials, Hadar Aviram invites readers into the opaque world of the California parole process—a realm of almost unfettered administrative discretion, prison programming inadequacies, high-pitched emotions, and political pressures. Yesterday’s Monsters offers a fresh longitudinal perspective on extreme punishment.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Baer, Andrew S. Beyond the Usual Beating: The Jon Burge Police Torture Scandal and Social Movements for Policing Accountability in Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020.
“The malign and long-lasting influence of Chicago police commander Jon Burge cannot be overestimated, particularly as fresh examples of local and national criminal-justice abuse continue to surface with dismaying frequency. Burge’s decades-long tenure on the Chicago police force was marked by racist and barbaric interrogation methods, including psychological torture, burnings, and mock executions—techniques that went far “beyond the usual beating.” After being exposed in 1989, he became a symbol of police brutality and the unequal treatment of nonwhite people, and the persistent outcry against him led to reforms such as the abolition of the death penalty in Illinois.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Briggs, Laura. Taking Children: A History of American Terror. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2020.
“Taking Children argues that for four hundred years the United States has taken children for political ends. Black children, Native children, Latinx children, and the children of the poor have all been seized from their kin and caregivers. As Laura Briggs’s sweeping narrative shows, the practice played out on the auction block, in the boarding schools designed to pacify the Native American population, in the foster care system used to put down the Black freedom movement, in the US’s anti-Communist coups in Central America, and in the moral panic about “crack babies.” In chilling detail we see how Central Americans were made into a population that could be stripped of their children and how every US administration beginning with Reagan has put children of immigrants and refugees in detention camps. Yet these tactics of terror have encountered opposition from every generation, and Briggs challenges us to stand and resist in this powerful corrective to American history.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Britto, Lina. Marijuana Boom: The Rise and Fall of Colombia’s First Drug Paradise. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2020.
”Before Colombia became one of the world’s largest producers of cocaine in the 1980s, traffickers from the Caribbean coast partnered with American buyers in the 1970s to make the South American country the main supplier of marijuana for a booming US drug market, fueled by the US hippie counterculture. How did Colombia become central to the creation of an international drug trafficking circuit? Marijuana Boom is the story of this forgotten history. Combining deep archival research with unprecedented oral history, Lina Britto deciphers a puzzle: Why did the Colombian coffee republic, a model of Latin American representative democracy and economic modernization, transform into a drug paradise, and at what cost?” From Publisher’s Website.
|Britton, Hannah E. Ending Gender-Based Violence: Justice and Community in South Africa. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2020.
“South African women’s still-increasing presence in local, provincial, and national institutions has inspired sweeping legislation aimed at advancing women’s rights and opportunity. Yet the country remains plagued by sexual assault, rape, and intimate partner violence.
Hannah E. Britton examines the reasons gendered violence persists in relationship to social inequalities even after women assume political power. Venturing into South African communities, Britton invites service providers, religious and traditional leaders, police officers, and medical professionals to address gender-based violence in their own words. Britton finds the recent turn toward carceral solutions—with a focus on arrests and prosecutions—fails to address the complexities of the problem and looks at how changing specific community dynamics can defuse interpersonal violence. She also examines how place and space affect the implementation of policy and suggests practical ways policymakers can support street level workers.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Buchanan, Ben. The Hacker and the State: Cyber Attacks and the New Normal in Geopolitics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2020.
“Ever since WarGames, we have been bracing for the cyberwar to come, conjuring images of exploding power plants and mass panic. But while cyber attacks are now disturbingly common, they don’t look anything like we thought they would.
Packed with insider information based on interviews, declassified files, and forensic analysis of company reports, The Hacker and the State sets aside fantasies of cyber-annihilation to explore the real geopolitical competition of the digital age. Tracing the conflict of wills and interests among modern nations, Ben Buchanan reveals little-known details of how China, Russia, North Korea, Britain, and the United States hack one another in a relentless struggle for dominance. His analysis moves deftly from underseas cable taps to underground nuclear sabotage, from blackouts and data breaches to billion-dollar heists and election interference.
Buchanan brings to life this continuous cycle of espionage and deception, attack and counterattack, destabilization and retaliation. He explains why cyber attacks are far less destructive than we anticipated, far more pervasive, and much harder to prevent. With little fanfare and far less scrutiny, they impact our banks, our tech and health systems, our democracy, and every aspect of our lives. Quietly, insidiously, they have reshaped our national-security priorities and transformed spycraft and statecraft. The contest for geopolitical advantage has moved into cyberspace. The United States and its allies can no longer dominate the way they once did. The nation that hacks best will triumph.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Cariso, Aaron. Black Market: The Slave’s Value in National Culture After 1865. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2020.
“On the eve of the Civil War, the estimated value of the U.S. enslaved population exceeded $3 billion–triple that of investments nationwide in factories, railroads, and banks combined, and worth more even than the South’s lucrative farmland. Not only an object to be traded and used, the slave was also a kind of currency, a form of value that anchored the market itself. And this value was not destroyed in the war. Slavery still structured social relations and cultural production in the United States more than a century after it was formally abolished. As Aaron Carico reveals in Black Market, slavery’s engine of capital accumulation was preserved and transformed, and the slave commodity survived emancipation. Through both archival research and lucid readings of literature, art, and law, from the plight of the Fourteenth Amendment to the myth of the cowboy, Carico breaks open the icons of liberalism to expose the shaping influence of slavery’s political economy in America after 1865. Ultimately, Black Market shows how a radically incomplete and fundamentally failed abolition enabled the emergence of a modern nation-state, in which slavery still determined–and now goes on to determine–economic, political, and cultural life.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Cecil, Dawn K. Fear, Justice and Modern True Crime. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2020.
“For centuries, people have been drawn to true stories of crime and the justice system. But what began primarily as a literary genre focusing on murder has evolved. From docuseries and podcasts to Facebook groups and events such as CrimeCon, modern true crime has become diverse, complex, and interactive. In Fear, Justice, and Modern True Crime, Dawn Cecil examines the genre to uncover the messages it conveys.
Modern true crime, Cecil argues, has the potential to inform people about crime-related issues and the criminal justice system—but it can also reinforce popular stereotypes. Her work deftly unpacks the impact of true crime stories on our perceptions, our fears, and even the process of justice.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Chakravarti, Sonali. Radical Enfranchisement in the Jury Room and Public Life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019.
“Juries have been at the center of some of the most emotionally charged moments of political life. At the same time, their capacity for legitimate decision making has been under scrutiny, because of events like the acquittal of George Zimmerman by a Florida jury for the shooting of Trayvon Martin and the decisions of several grand juries not to indict police officers for the killing of unarmed black men. Meanwhile, the overall use of juries has also declined in recent years, with most cases settled or resolved by plea bargain.
With Radical Enfranchisement in the Jury Room and Public Life, Sonali Chakravarti offers a full-throated defense of juries as a democratic institution. She argues that juries provide an important site for democratic action by citizens and that their use should be revived. The jury, Chakravarti argues, could be a forward-looking institution that nurtures the best democratic instincts of citizens, but this requires a change in civic education regarding the skills that should be cultivated in jurors before and through the process of a trial. Being a juror, perhaps counterintuitively, can guide citizens in how to be thoughtful rule-breakers by changing their relationship to their own perceptions and biases and by making options for collective action salient, but they must be better prepared and instructed along the way.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Chase, Robert T. We Are Not Slaves: State Violence, Coerced Labor, and Prisoners’ Rights in Postwar America. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2020.
“In the early twentieth century, the brutality of southern prisons became a national scandal. Prisoners toiled in grueling, violent conditions while housed in crude dormitories on what were effectively slave plantations. This system persisted until the 1940s when, led by Texas, southern states adopted northern prison design reforms. Texas presented the reforms to the public as modern, efficient, and disciplined. Inside prisons, however, the transition to penitentiary cells only made the endemic violence more secretive, intensifying the labor division that privileged some prisoners with the power to accelerate state-orchestrated brutality and the internal sex trade. Reformers’ efforts had only made things worse–now it was up to the prisoners to fight for change.
Drawing from three decades of legal documents compiled by prisoners, Robert T. Chase narrates the struggle to change prison from within. Prisoners forged an alliance with the NAACP to contest the constitutionality of Texas prisons. Behind bars, a prisoner coalition of Chicano Movement and Black Power organizations publicized their deplorable conditions as “slaves of the state” and initiated a prison-made civil rights revolution and labor protest movement. These insurgents won epochal legal victories that declared conditions in many southern prisons to be cruel and unusual–but their movement was overwhelmed by the increasing militarization of the prison system and empowerment of white supremacist gangs that, together, declared war on prison organizers. Told from the vantage point of the prisoners themselves, this book weaves together untold but devastatingly important truths from the histories of labor, civil rights, and politics in the United States as it narrates the transition from prison plantations of the past to the mass incarceration of today.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Crump, Ben. Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People. New York: Amistad, 2019.
“Ben Crump exposes a heinous truth in Open Season: Whether with a bullet or a lengthy prison sentence, America is killing black people and justifying it legally. While some deaths make headlines, most are personal tragedies suffered within families and communities. Worse, these killings are done one person at a time, so as not to raise alarm. While it is much more difficult to justify killing many people at once, in dramatic fashion, the result is the same—genocide.
Taking on such high-profile cases as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and a host of others, Crump witnessed the disparities within the American legal system firsthand and learned it is dangerous to be a black man in America—and that the justice system indeed only protects wealthy white men.
In this enlightening and enthralling work, he shows that there is a persistent, prevailing, and destructive mindset regarding colored people that is rooted in our history as a slave-owning nation. This biased attitude has given rise to mass incarceration, voter disenfranchisement, unequal educational opportunities, disparate health care practices, job and housing discrimination, police brutality, and an unequal justice system. And all mask the silent and ongoing systematic killing of people of color.
Open Season is more than Crump’s incredible mission to preserve justice, it is a call to action for Americans to begin living up to the promise to protect the rights of its citizens equally and without question.” From Publisher’s Website
|Davis, Mike and Jon Weiner. Set the Night on Fire: L.A. in the Sixties. Brooklyn, NY: Verso, 2020.
“Los Angeles in the sixties was a hotbed of political and social upheaval. The city was a launchpad for Black Power—where Malcolm X and Angela Davis first came to prominence and the Watts uprising shook the nation. The city was home to the Chicano Blowouts and Chicano Moratorium, as well as being the birthplace of “Asian American” as a political identity. It was a locus of the antiwar movement, gay liberation movement, and women’s movement, and, of course, the capital of California counterculture.
Mike Davis and Jon Wiener provide the first comprehensive movement history of L.A. in the sixties, drawing on extensive archival research and dozens of interviews with principal figures, as well as the authors’ storied personal histories as activists. Following on from Davis’s award winning L.A. history, City of Quartz, Set the Night on Fire is a historical tour de force, delivered in scintillating and fiercely beautiful prose.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Dewey, Matias. Making It At Any Cost: Aspirations and Politics in a Counterfeit Clothing Marketplace. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2020.
“La Salada is South America’s largest marketplace for fraudulently labeled clothing, a sprawling and dangerous bazaar on the fringes of Buenos Aires where counterfeit goods are bought and sold, armed thieves roam the nearby streets, and corrupt police and politicians turn a blind eye to widespread unlawful behaviors. Despite conditions traditionally considered inhospitable to economic growth—including acute interpersonal distrust, pervasive personal insecurity, and rampant violence—business in La Salada is booming under an established order completely detached from the state.
Matías Dewey dives deep into the world of La Salada to examine how market exchanges function outside the law and how agreements and norms develop in the economy for counterfeit clothing. Drawing on seven months of ethnographic research and more than a hundred interviews, Dewey argues that aspirations for a better future shape garment workers’ everyday practices, from their home-based sweatshops to the market stalls. The book unearths a new configuration of garment production and commercialization detached from global supply chains, submerged in the shadows of informality and illegality, and rooted in aspiration and opportunity.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Diverlus, Rodney, Sandy Hudson and Syrus Marcus Ware, eds. Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada. University of Regina Press, 2020.
“The killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012 by a white assailant inspired the Black Lives Matter movement, which quickly spread outside the borders of the United States. The movement’s message found fertile ground in Canada, where Black activists speak of generations of injustice and continue the work of the Black liberators who have come before them.
Until We Are Free contains some of the very best writing on the hottest issues facing the Black community in Canada. It describes the latest developments in Canadian Black activism, organizing efforts through the use of social media, Black-Indigenous alliances, and more.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Fleetwood, Nicole R. Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2020.
“More than two million people are currently behind bars in the United States. Incarceration not only separates the imprisoned from their families and communities; it also exposes them to shocking levels of deprivation and abuse and subjects them to the arbitrary cruelties of the criminal justice system. Yet, as Nicole Fleetwood reveals, America’s prisons are filled with art. Despite the isolation and degradation they experience, the incarcerated are driven to assert their humanity in the face of a system that dehumanizes them.
Based on interviews with currently and formerly incarcerated artists, prison visits, and the author’s own family experiences with the penal system, Marking Time shows how the imprisoned turn ordinary objects into elaborate works of art. Working with meager supplies and in the harshest conditions—including solitary confinement—these artists find ways to resist the brutality and depravity that prisons engender. The impact of their art, Fleetwood observes, can be felt far beyond prison walls. Their bold works, many of which are being published for the first time in this volume, have opened new possibilities in American art.
As the movement to transform the country’s criminal justice system grows, art provides the imprisoned with a political voice. Their works testify to the economic and racial injustices that underpin American punishment and offer a new vision of freedom for the twenty-first century.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Flowe, Douglas J. Uncontrollable Blackness: African American Men and Criminality in Jim Crow New York. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2020.
“Early twentieth-century African American men in northern urban centers like New York faced economic isolation, segregation, a biased criminal justice system, and overt racial attacks by police and citizens. In this book, Douglas J. Flowe interrogates the meaning of crime and violence in the lives of these men, whose lawful conduct itself was often surveilled and criminalized, by focusing on what their actions and behaviors represented to them. He narrates the stories of men who sought profits in underground markets, protected themselves when law enforcement failed to do so, and exerted control over public, commercial, and domestic spaces through force in a city that denied their claims to citizenship and manhood. Flowe furthermore traces how the features of urban Jim Crow and the efforts of civic and progressive leaders to restrict their autonomy ultimately produced the circumstances under which illegality became a form of resistance.
Drawing from voluminous prison and arrest records, trial transcripts, personal letters and documents, and investigative reports, Flowe opens up new ways of understanding the black struggle for freedom in the twentieth century. By uncovering the relationship between the fight for civil rights, black constructions of masculinity, and lawlessness, he offers a stirring account of how working-class black men employed extralegal methods to address racial injustice.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Freese, Barbara. Industrial-Strength Denial: Eight Stories of Corporations Defending the Indefensible from the Slave Trade to Climate Change. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2020.
“Corporations faced with proof that they are hurting people or the planet have a long history of denying evidence, blaming victims, complaining of witch hunts, attacking their critics’ motives, and otherwise rationalizing their harmful activities. Denial campaigns have let corporations continue dangerous practices that cause widespread suffering, death, and environmental destruction. And, by undermining social trust in science and government, corporate denial has made it harder for our democracy to function.
Barbara Freese, an environmental attorney, confronted corporate denial years ago when cross-examining coal industry witnesses who were disputing the science of climate change. She set out to discover how far from reality corporate denial had led society in the past and what damage it had done.
Her resulting, deeply-researched book is an epic tour through eight campaigns of denial waged by industries defending the slave trade, radium consumption, unsafe cars, leaded gasoline, ozone-destroying chemicals, tobacco, the investment products that caused the financial crisis, and the fossil fuels destabilizing our climate. Some of the denials are appalling (slave ships are festive). Some are absurd (nicotine is not addictive). Some are dangerously comforting (natural systems prevent ozone depletion). Together they reveal much about the group dynamics of delusion and deception.
Industrial-Strength Denial delves into the larger social dramas surrounding these denials, including how people outside the industries fought back using evidence and the tools of democracy. It also explores what it is about the corporation itself that reliably promotes such denial, drawing on psychological research into how cognition and morality are altered by tribalism, power, conflict, anonymity, social norms, market ideology, and of course, money. Industrial-Strength Denial warns that the corporate form gives people tremendous power to inadvertently cause harm while making it especially hard for them to recognize and feel responsible for that harm.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Gottschalk, Petter. Convenience Triangle in White-Collar Crime: Case Studies of Fraud Examinations. Cheltenham, UK; Edward Elgar, 2019.
“Studies have shown that the number of individuals being incarcerated for white-collar crime is on the rise, going hand-in-hand with an increase in support for punishment and imprisonment for white-collar offenders among the public. This book aims to discuss the role of the ‘convenience triangle’ in white-collar crime, how it affects the perpetration of these crimes, the impact of this on detection and prevention and the effects of the punitive measures taken against white-collar criminals.
The ‘convenience triangle’ is the dynamic relationship between motive, opportunity, and willingness to commit a crime, which culminates in the illegal acts that constitute white-collar crime. The relationship between these factors is explored through case studies highlighting each of these six causal relationships. Alongside this, the role of whistleblowing in the detection of white-collar crime, and the issue of incarceration for white collar criminals are discussed.
For students of business and management, this book will provide valuable insights into the motivation and practice of white-collar crime. Its insights and discussion will also prove valuable for practitioners, engaged in both management and crime prevention.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Gruber, Aya. The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women’s Liberation in Mass Incarceration. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2020.
“Many feminists grapple with the problem of hyper-incarceration in the United States, and yet commentators on gender crime continue to assert that criminal law is not tough enough. This punitive impulse, prominent legal scholar Aya Gruber argues, is dangerous and counterproductive. In their quest to secure women’s protection from domestic violence and rape, American feminists have become soldiers in the war on crime by emphasizing white female victimhood, expanding the power of police and prosecutors, touting the problem-solving power of incarceration, and diverting resources toward law enforcement and away from marginalized communities.
Deploying vivid cases and unflinching analysis, The Feminist War on Crime documents the failure of the state to combat sexual and domestic violence through law and punishment. Zero-tolerance anti-violence law and policy tend to make women less safe and more fragile. Mandatory arrests, no-drop prosecutions, forced separation, and incarceration embroil poor women of color in a criminal justice system that is historically hostile to them. This carceral approach exacerbates social inequalities by diverting more power and resources toward a fundamentally flawed criminal justice system, further harming victims, perpetrators, and communities alike.
In order to reverse this troubling course, Gruber contends that we must abandon the conventional feminist wisdom, fight violence against women without reinforcing the American prison state, and use criminalization as a technique of last—not first—resort.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Hammer, Joshua. The Falcon Thief: A True Tale of Adventure, Treachery, and the Hunt for the Perfect Bird. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2020.
“On May 3, 2010, an Irish national named Jeffrey Lendrum was apprehended at Britain’s Birmingham International Airport with a suspicious parcel strapped to his stomach. Inside were fourteen rare peregrine falcon eggs snatched from a remote cliffside in Wales.
So begins a tale almost too bizarre to believe, following the parallel lives of a globe-trotting smuggler who spent two decades capturing endangered raptors worth millions of dollars as race champions—and Detective Andy McWilliam of the United Kingdom’s National Wildlife Crime Unit, who’s hell bent on protecting the world’s birds of prey.
The Falcon Thief whisks readers from the volcanoes of Patagonia to Zimbabwe’s Matobo National Park, and from the frigid tundra near the Arctic Circle to luxurious aviaries in the deserts of Dubai, all in pursuit of a man who is reckless, arrogant, and gripped by a destructive compulsion to make the most beautiful creatures in nature his own. It’s a story that’s part true-crime narrative, part epic adventure—and wholly unputdownable until the very last page.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Hatton, Erin. Coerced: Work Under Threat of Punishment. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2020.
“What do prisoner laborers, graduate students, welfare workers, and college athletes have in common? According to sociologist Erin Hatton, they are all part of a growing workforce of coerced laborers.
Coerced explores this world of coerced labor through an unexpected and compelling comparison of these four groups of workers, for whom a different definition of “employment” reigns supreme—one where workplace protections do not apply and employers wield expansive punitive power, far beyond the ability to hire and fire. Because such arrangements are common across the economy, Hatton argues that coercion—as well as precarity—is a defining feature of work in America today.
Theoretically forceful yet vivid and gripping to read, Coerced compels the reader to reevaluate contemporary dynamics of work, pushing beyond concepts like “career” and “gig work.” Through this bold analysis, Hatton offers a trenchant window into this world of work from the perspective of those who toil within it—and who are developing the tools needed to push back against it.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Horne, Gerald. The Dawning of the Apocalypse: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism, and Capitalism in the Long Sixteenth Century. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2020.
“August 2019 saw numerous commemorations of the year 1619, when what was said to be the first arrival of enslaved Africans occurred in North America. Yet in the 1520s, the Spanish, from their imperial perch in Santo Domingo, had already brought enslaved Africans to what was to become South Carolina. The enslaved people here quickly defected to local Indigenous populations, and compelled their captors to flee. Deploying illuminating research, The Dawning of the Apocalypse is a riveting revision of the “creation myth” of settler colonialism and how the United States was formed. Here, Gerald Horne argues forcefully that, in order to understand the arrival of colonists from the British Isles in the early seventeenth century, one must first understand the “long sixteenth century”—from 1492 until the arrival of settlers in Virginia in 1607.
During this prolonged century, Horne contends, “whiteness” morphed into “white supremacy,” and allowed England to co-opt not only religious minorities but also various nationalities throughout Europe, thus forging a muscular bloc that was needed to confront rambunctious Indigenes and Africans. In retelling the bloodthirsty story of the invasion of the Americas, Horne recounts how the fierce resistance by Africans and their Indigenous allies weakened Spain and enabled London to dispatch settlers to Virginia in 1607. These settlers laid the groundwork for the British Empire and its revolting spawn that became the United States of America.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Johnson, Walter. The Broken Heart of America: St. Louis and the Violent History of the U.S. New York: Basic Books, 2020.
“From Lewis and Clark’s 1804 expedition to the 2014 uprising in Ferguson, American history has been made in St. Louis. And as Walter Johnson shows in this searing book, the city exemplifies how imperialism, racism, and capitalism have persistently entwined to corrupt the nation’s past.
St. Louis was a staging post for Indian removal and imperial expansion, and its wealth grew on the backs of its poor black residents, from slavery through redlining and urban renewal. But it was once also America’s most radical city, home to anti-capitalist immigrants, the Civil War’s first general emancipation, and the nation’s first general strike — a legacy of resistance that endures.
A blistering history of a city’s rise and decline, The Broken Heart of America will forever change how we think about the United States.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Karibo, Holly M., ed. Border Policing: A History of Enforcement and Evasion in North America. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2020.
“An extensive history examining how North American nations have tried (and often failed) to police their borders, Border Policing presents diverse scholarly perspectives on attempts to regulate people and goods at borders, as well as on the ways that individuals and communities have navigated, contested, and evaded such regulation.
The contributors explore these power dynamics though a series of case studies on subjects ranging from competing allegiances at the northeastern border during the War of 1812 to struggles over Indian sovereignty and from the effects of the Mexican Revolution to the experiences of smugglers along the Rio Grande during Prohibition. Later chapters stretch into the twenty-first century and consider immigration enforcement, drug trafficking, and representations of border policing in reality television. Together, the contributors explore the powerful ways in which federal authorities impose political agendas on borderlands and how local border residents and regions interact with, and push back against, such agendas. With its rich mix of political, legal, social, and cultural history, this collection provides new insights into the distinct realities that have shaped the international borders of North America.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Kaufman, Sarah Beth. American Roulette: The Social Logic of Death Penalty Sentencing Trials. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2020.
“As the death penalty clings to life in many states and dies off in others, this first-of-its-kind ethnography takes readers inside capital trials across the United States. Sarah Beth Kaufman draws on years of ethnographic and documentary research, including hundreds of hours of courtroom observation in seven states, interviews with participants, and analyses of newspaper coverage to reveal how the American justice system decides who deserves the most extreme punishment. The “super due process” accorded capital sentencing by the United States Supreme Court is the system’s best attempt at individuated sentencing. Resources not seen in most other parts of the criminal justice system, such as jurors and psychological experts, are required in capital trials, yet even these cannot create the conditions of morality or justice. Kaufman demonstrates that capital trials ultimately depend on performance and politics, resulting in the enactment of deep biases and utter capriciousness. American Roulette contends that the liberal, democratic ideals of criminal punishment cannot be enacted in the current criminal justice system, even under the most controlled circumstances. “ From Publisher’s Website.
|Koulish, Robert and Maartje van der Woude. Crimmigrant Nations: Resurgent Nationalism and the Closing of the Borders. Bronx, NY: Fordham University Press, 2020.
“As the distinction between domestic and international is increasingly blurred along with the line between internal and external borders, migrants―particularly people of color―have become emblematic of the hybrid threat both to national security and sovereignty and to safety and order inside the state. From building walls and fences, overcrowding detention facilities, and beefing up border policing and border controls, a new narrative has arrived that has migrants assume the risk for government-sponsored degradation, misery, and death. Crimmigrant Nations examines the parallel rise of anti-immigrant sentiment and right-wing populism in both the United States and Europe to offer an unprecedented look at this issue on an international level.
Beginning with the fears and concerns of immigration that predate the election of Trump, the Brexit vote, and the signing and implementation of the Schengen Agreement, Crimmigrant Nations critically analyzes nationalist state policies in countries that have criminalized migrants and categorized them as threats to national security. Highlighting a pressing and perplexing problem facing the Western world in 2020 and beyond, this collection of essays illustrates not only how anti-immigrant sentiments and nationalist discourse are on the rise in various Western liberal democracies, but also how these sentiments are being translated into punitive and cruel policies and practices that contribute to a merger of crime control and migration control with devastating effects for those falling under its reach. Mapping out how these measures are taken, the rationale behind these policies, and who is subjected to exclusion as a result of these measures, Crimmigrant Nations looks beyond the level of the local or the national to the relational dynamics between different actors on different levels and among different institutions.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Lee, Erika. America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States. New York: Basic Books, 2019.
“The United States is known as a nation of immigrants. But it is also a nation of xenophobia. In America for Americans, Erika Lee shows that an irrational fear, hatred, and hostility toward immigrants has been a defining feature of our nation from the colonial era to the Trump era. Benjamin Franklin ridiculed Germans for their “strange and foreign ways.” Americans’ anxiety over Irish Catholics turned xenophobia into a national political movement. Chinese immigrants were excluded, Japanese incarcerated, and Mexicans deported. Today, Americans fear Muslims, Latinos, and the so-called browning of America.
Forcing us to confront this history, America for Americans explains how xenophobia works, why it has endured, and how it threatens America. It is a necessary corrective and spur to action for any concerned citizen.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Leverentz, Andrea, Elsa Y. Chen & Johnna Christian. Beyond Recidivism: New Approaches on Prisoner Reentry and Reintegration. New York: New York University Press, 2020.
“Understanding reentry experiences after incarceration Prison in the United States often has a revolving door, with droves of formerly incarcerated people ultimately finding themselves behind bars again. In Beyond Recidivism, Andrea Leverentz, Elsa Y. Chen, and Johnna Christian bring together a leading group of interdisciplinary scholars to examine this phenomenon using several approaches to research on recently released prisoners returning to their lives. They focus on the social context of reentry and look at the stories returning prisoners tell, including such key issues as when they choose to reveal (or not) their criminal histories. Drawing on contemporary studies, contributors examine the best ideas that have emerged over the last decade to understanding the challenges prisoners face upon reentering society. Together, they present a complete picture of prisoner reentry, including real-world recommendations for policies to ensure the well-being of returning prisoners, regardless of their past mistakes.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Levine, Judith and Erica R. Meiners. The Feminist and the Sex Offender: Confronting Sexual Harm, Ending State Violence. New York: Verso, 2019.
“In the era of #MeToo and mass incarceration, The Feminist and the Sex Offender makes a powerful feminist case for accountability without punishment and sexual safety and pleasure without injustice.
With analytical clarity and narrative force, The Feminist and the Sex Offender contends with two problems that are typically siloed in the era of #MeToo and mass incarceration: sexual and gender violence, on the one hand, and the state’s unjust, ineffective, and soul-destroying response to it on the other. Is it possible to confront the culture of abuse? Is it possible to hold harm-doers accountable without recourse to a criminal justice system that redoubles injuries, fails survivors, and retrenches the conditions that made such abuse possible?
Drawing on interviews, extensive research, reportage, and history, The Feminist and the Sex Offender develops an intersectional feminist approach to ending sexual violence. It maps with considerable detail the unjust sex offender regime while highlighting the alternatives we urgently need.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Mason, Marianne, and Frances Rock, editors. The Discourse of Police Interviews. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019.
“Forensic linguistics, or the study of language and the law, is a growing field of scholarly and public interest with an established research presence. The Discourse of Police Interviews aims to further the discussion by analyzing how police interviews are constructed and used to investigate and prosecute crimes.
The first book to focus exclusively on the discourses of police interviewing, The Discourse of Police Interviews examines leading debates, approaches, and topics in contemporary police interview research. Among other topics, the book explores the sociolegal, psychological, and discursive framework of popular police interview techniques employed in the United States and the United Kingdom, such as PEACE and Reid, and the discursive practices of institutional representatives like police officers and interpreters that can influence the construction and quality of linguistic evidence. Together, the contributions situate the police interview as part of a complex, and multistage, criminal justice process. The book will be of interest to both scholars and practitioners in a variety of fields, such as linguistic anthropology, interpreting studies, criminology, law, and sociology.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Mayeux, Sara. Free Justice: A History of the Public Defender in Twentieth-Century America. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2020.
“Every day, in courtrooms around the United States, thousands of criminal defendants are represented by public defenders–lawyers provided by the government for those who cannot afford private counsel. Though often taken for granted, the modern American public defender has a surprisingly contentious history–one that offers insights not only about the “carceral state,” but also about the contours and compromises of twentieth-century liberalism.
First gaining appeal amidst the Progressive Era fervor for court reform, the public defender idea was swiftly quashed by elite corporate lawyers who believed the legal profession should remain independent from the state. Public defenders took hold in some localities but not yet as a nationwide standard. By the 1960s, views had shifted. Gideon v. Wainwright enshrined the right to counsel into law and the legal profession mobilized to expand the ranks of public defenders nationwide. Yet within a few years, lawyers had already diagnosed a “crisis” of underfunded, overworked defenders providing inadequate representation–a crisis that persists today. This book shows how these conditions, often attributed to recent fiscal emergencies, have deep roots, and it chronicles the intertwined histories of constitutional doctrine, big philanthropy, professional in-fighting, and Cold War culture that made public defenders ubiquitous but embattled figures in American courtrooms.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Mazzi, Maria Serena. A Life of Ill Repute: Public Prostitution in the Middle Ages. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020.
“Prostitution is often called the oldest profession in the world. Even in the Middle Ages, people believed that there would always be women willing to use their bodies for profit. But who were these women who offered themselves up to men?
In A Life of Ill Repute Maria Serena Mazzi traces and reconstructs prostitution in the early fourteenth century, describing how in medieval European society women – often extremely poor and overwhelmed by debt, or victims either of predatory men full of duplicitous intentions or simply of rape – were traded as commodities. Prostitutes, according to Mazzi, were despised and condemned but considered necessary in an ambiguous and contradictory society that tolerated their sexual exploitation to safeguard the virtue of honest women and counter the vice of homosexuality, while allowing men to vent their own impulses. The theory of the lesser evil – encouraged by both the church and the state – is the grounds on which prostitution flourished in medieval Europe.
In the Middle Ages prostitution was censured and considered disgraceful, but at the same time it was deemed inevitable and even necessary. A Life of Ill Repute uncovers the hypocrisy and speciousness of ecclesiastical, political, and social arguments for the justification of the existence of public prostitution.” From Publisher’s Website.
|McPherson, Alan. Ghosts of Sheridan Circle: How a Washington Assassination Brought Pinochet’s Terror State to Justice. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2019.
“On September 21, 1976, a car bomb killed Orlando Letelier, the former Chilean ambassador to the United States, along with his colleague Ronni Moffitt. The murder shocked the world, especially because of its setting–Sheridan Circle, in the heart of Washington, D.C. Letelier’s widow and her allies immediately suspected the secret police of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who eliminated opponents around the world. Because U.S. political leaders saw the tyrant as a Cold War ally, they failed to warn him against assassinating Letelier and hesitated to blame him afterward. Government investigators and diplomats, however, pledged to find the killers, defying a monstrous, secretive regime. Was justice attainable? Finding out would take nearly two decades.
With interviews from three continents, never-before-used documents, and recently declassified sources that conclude that Pinochet himself ordered the hit and then covered it up, Alan McPherson has produced the definitive history of one of the Cold War’s most consequential assassinations. The Letelier car bomb forever changed counterterrorism, human rights, and democracy. This page-turning real-life political thriller combines a police investigation, diplomatic intrigue, courtroom drama, and survivors’ tales of sorrow and tenacity.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Moore, Wes and Erica L. Green. Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City. New York: One World/Random House, 2020.
“When Freddie Gray was arrested for possessing an “illegal knife” in April 2015, he was, by eyewitness accounts that video evidence later confirmed, treated “roughly” as police loaded him into a vehicle. By the end of his trip in the police van, Gray was in a coma from which he would never recover.
In the wake of a long history of police abuse in Baltimore, this killing felt like the final straw—it led to a week of protests, then five days described alternately as a riot or an uprising that set the entire city on edge and caught the nation’s attention.
Wes Moore is a Rhodes Scholar, bestselling author, decorated combat veteran, former White House fellow, and CEO of Robin Hood, one of the largest anti-poverty nonprofits in the nation. While attending Gray’s funeral, he saw every stratum of the city come together: grieving mothers, members of the city’s wealthy elite, activists, and the long-suffering citizens of Baltimore—all looking to comfort one another, but also looking for answers. He knew that when they left the church, these factions would spread out to their own corners, but that the answers they were all looking for could be found only in the city as a whole.
Moore—along with journalist Erica Green—tells the story of the Baltimore uprising both through his own observations and through the eyes of other Baltimoreans: Partee, a conflicted black captain of the Baltimore Police Department; Jenny, a young white public defender who’s drawn into the violent center of the uprising herself; Tawanda, a young black woman who’d spent a lonely year protesting the killing of her own brother by police; and John Angelos, scion of the city’s most powerful family and executive vice president of the Baltimore Orioles, who had to make choices of conscience he’d never before confronted.
Each shifting point of view contributes to an engrossing, cacophonous account of one of the most consequential moments in our recent history, which is also an essential cri de coeur about the deeper causes of the violence and the small seeds of hope planted in its aftermath.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Muse, Toby. Kilo: Inside the Deadliest Cocaine Cartels – From Jungles to the Streets. New York: Wm. Morrow, 2020.
“Cocaine is glamour, sex and murder. From the badlands of Colombia, it stretches across the globe, seducing, corrupting and destroying. A product that must be produced, distributed, and protected, it is both a harbinger of violence and a source of immense wealth. Beginning in the jungles and mountains of Colombia, it filters down to countryside villages and the nightclubs of the cities, attracting money, sex, and death. Each step in the life of a kilo reveals a different criminal underworld with its own players, rules, and dangers, ranging from the bizarre to the diabolical. The killers, the drug-lords, all find themselves seduced by cocaine and trapped in her world.
Seasoned war correspondent Toby Muse has witnessed each level of this underworld, fueled by the appetite for cocaine in America and Europe. In this riveting chronicle, he takes the reader inside Colombia’s notorious drug cartels to offer a never before look at the drug trade. Following a kilo of cocaine from its production in a clandestine laboratory to the smugglers who ship it abroad, he reveals the human lives behind the drug’s complicated legacy. Reporting on Colombia for the world’s most prestigious networks and publications, Muse gained unprecedented access to the extraordinary people who survive on the drug trade—farmers, smugglers, assassins—and the drug lords and their lovers controlling these multi-billion dollar enterprises. Uncovering stories of violence, sex, and money, he shows the allure and the madness of cocaine. And how the War on Drugs has been no match for cocaine.
Piercing this veiled world, Kilo is a gripping portrait of a country struggling to end this deadly trade even as the riches flow. A human portrait of criminals and the shocking details of their lives, Kilo is a chilling, unforgettable story that takes you deep into the belly of the beast.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Navarro, Luis Hernandez. Self-Defense in Mexico: Indigenous Policing and the New Dirty Wars. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2020.
“In Mexico and across other parts of Latin America local Indigenous peoples have built community policing groups as a means of protection where the state has limited control over, and even complicity in, crime and violence. Luis Hernández Navarro, a leading Mexican journalist, offers a riveting investigation of these armed self-defense groups that sprang up around the time of the 1994 Zapatista uprising in Chiapas. Available in English for the first time, the book spotlights the intense precarity of everyday life in parts of Mexico. Hernández Navarro shows how the self-defense response, which now includes wealthier rancher and farmer groups, is being transformed by Mexico’s expanding role in the multibillion dollar global drug trade, by foreign corporations’ extraction of raw minerals in traditionally Indigenous lands, and by the resulting social changes in local communities.
But as Hernández Navarro acknowledges, self-defense is highly controversial. Community policing may provide citizens with increased agency, but for government officials it can be a dangerous threat to the status quo. Leftists and liberals are wary of how the groups may be linked to paramilitary forces and vulnerable to manipulation by drug traffickers and the government alike. This book answers the urgent call to understand the dangerous complexities of government failures and popular solutions.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Newman, Graeme. Civilization and Barbarism: Punishing Criminals in the Twenty-First Century. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2020.
“The practice of mass incarceration has come under increasing criticism by criminologists and corrections experts who, nevertheless, find themselves at a loss when it comes to offering credible, practical, and humane alternatives. In Civilization and Barbarism, Graeme R. Newman argues this impasse has arisen from a refusal to confront the original essence of punishment, namely, that in some sense it must be painful. He begins with an exposition of the traditional philosophical justifications for punishment and then provides a history of criminal punishment. He shows how, over time, the West abandoned short-term corporal punishment in favor of longer-term incarceration, justifying a massive bureaucratic prison complex as scientific and civilized. Newman compels the reader to confront the biases embedded in this model and the impossibility of defending prisons as a civilized form of punishment. A groundbreaking work that challenges the received wisdom of “corrections,” Civilization and Barbarism asks readers to reconsider moderate corporal punishment as an alternative to prison and, for the most serious offenders, forms of incapacitation without prison.
The book also features two helpful appendixes: a list of debating points, with common criticisms and their rebuttals, and a chronology of civilized punishments.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Paik, A. Naomi. Bans, Walls, Raids, Sanctuary: Understanding U.S. Immigration for the Twenty-First Century. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2020.
“Days after taking the White House, Donald Trump signed three executive orders—these authorized the Muslim Ban, the border wall, and ICE raids. These orders would define his administration’s approach toward noncitizens. An essential primer on how we got here, Bans, Walls, Raids, Sanctuary shows that such barriers to immigration are embedded in the very foundation of the United States. A. Naomi Paik reveals that the forty-fifth president’s xenophobic, racist, ableist, patriarchal ascendancy is no aberration, but the consequence of two centuries of U.S. political, economic, and social culture. She deftly demonstrates that attacks against migrants are tightly bound to assaults against women, people of color, workers, ill and disabled people, and queer and gender nonconforming people. Against this history of barriers and assaults, Bans, Walls, Raids, Sanctuary mounts a rallying cry for a broad-based, abolitionist sanctuary movement for all.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Perry, Barbara and Ryan Scrivens. Right-Wing Extremism in Canada. Cham, SWIT: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2019.
“This book comprehensively examines right-wing extremism (RWE) in Canada, discussing the lengthy history of violence and distribution, ideological bases, actions, organizational capacity and connectivity of these extremist groups. It explores the current landscape, the factors that give rise to and minimise these extremist groups, strategies for countering these groups, and the emergence of the ‘Alt-Right’. It draws on interviews with law enforcement officials, community activists, and current and former right-wing activists to inform and offer practical advice, paired with analyses of open source intelligence on the state of the RWE movement in Canada. The historical and contemporary contours of right-wing extremism in Canada are situated within the social, political, and cultural landscape that has shaped the movement. It will be of particular interest to students and researchers of criminology, sociology, social justice, terrorism and political violence.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Pobutsky, Aldona Biolowas. Pablo Escobar and Colombian Narcoculture. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Press, 2020.
“In the years since his death in 1993, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar has become a globally recognized symbol of crime, wealth, power, and masculinity. In this long-overdue exploration of Escobar’s impact on popular culture, Aldona Bialowas Pobutsky shows how his legacy inspired the development of narcoculture—television, music, literature, and fashion representing the drug-trafficking lifestyle—in Colombia and around the world.
Pobutsky looks at the ways the “Escobar brand” surfaces in bars, restaurants, and clothing lines; in Colombia’s tourist industry; and in telenovelas, documentaries, and narco memoirs about his life, which in turn have generated popular interest in other drug traffickers such as Griselda Blanco and Miami’s “cocaine cowboys.” Pobutsky illustrates how the Colombian state strives to erase his memory while Escobar’s notoriety only continues to increase in popular culture through the transnational media. She argues that the image of Escobar is inextricably linked to Colombia’s internal tensions in the areas of cocaine politics, gender relations, class divisions, and political corruption and that his “brand” perpetuates the country’s reputation as a center of organized crime, to the dismay of the Colombian people. This book is a fascinating study of how the world perceives Colombia and how Colombia’s citizens understand their nation’s past and present.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Posner, Gerald. Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America. New York: Avid Reader Press, 2020.
“Pharmaceutical breakthroughs such as antibiotics and vaccines rank among some of the greatest advancements in human history. Yet exorbitant prices for life-saving drugs, safety recalls affecting tens of millions of Americans, and soaring rates of addiction and overdose on prescription opioids have caused many to lose faith in drug companies. Now, Americans are demanding a national reckoning with a monolithic industry.
Pharma introduces brilliant scientists, in-corruptible government regulators, and brave whistleblowers facing off against company executives often blinded by greed. A business that profits from treating ills can create far deadlier problems than it cures. Addictive products are part of the industry’s DNA, from the days when corner drugstores sold morphine, heroin, and cocaine, to the past two decades of dangerously overprescribed opioids.
Pharma also uncovers the real story of the Sacklers, the family that became one of America’s wealthiest from the success of OxyContin, their blockbuster narcotic painkiller at the center of the opioid crisis. Relying on thousands of pages of government and corporate archives, dozens of hours of interviews with insiders, and previously classified FBI files, Posner exposes the secrets of the Sacklers’ rise to power—revelations that have long been buried under a byzantine web of interlocking companies with ever-changing names and hidden owners. The unexpected twists and turns of the Sackler family saga are told against the startling chronicle of a powerful industry that sits at the intersection of public health and profits. Pharma reveals how and why American drug companies have put earnings ahead of patients.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Reverby, Susan M. Co-conspirator for Justice: The Revolutionary Life of Dr. Alan Berkman. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2020.
“Alan Berkman (1945–2009) was no campus radical in the mid-1960s; he was a promising Ivy League student, football player, Eagle Scout, and fraternity president. But when he was a medical student and doctor, his politics began to change, and soon he was providing covert care to members of revolutionary groups like the Weather Underground and becoming increasingly radicalized by his experiences at the Wounded Knee takeover, at the Attica Prison uprising, and at health clinics for the poor. When the government went after him, he went underground and participated in bombings of government buildings. He was eventually captured and served eight years in some of America’s worst penitentiaries, barely surviving two rounds of cancer. After his release in 1992, he returned to medical practice and became an HIV/AIDS physician, teacher, and global health activist. In the final years of his life, he successfully worked to change U.S. policy, making AIDS treatment more widely available in the global south and saving millions of lives around the world.
Using Berkman’s unfinished prison memoir, FBI records, letters, and hundreds of interviews, Susan M. Reverby sheds fascinating light on questions of political violence and revolutionary zeal in her account of Berkman’s extraordinary transformation from doctor to co-conspirator for justice.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Rosales, Rocio. Fruteros: Street Vending, Illegality, and Ethnic Community in Los Angeles. Oakland, CA: University of North Carolina Press, 2020.
“This book examines the social worlds of young Latino street vendors as they navigate the complexities of local and federal laws prohibiting both their presence and their work on street corners. Known as fruteros, they sell fruit salads out of pushcarts throughout Los Angeles and are part of the urban landscape.
Drawing on six years of fieldwork, Rocío Rosales offers a compelling portrait of their day-to-day struggles. In the process, she examines how their paisano (hometown compatriot) social networks both help and exploit them. Much of the work on newly arrived Latino immigrants focuses on the ways in which their social networks allow them to survive. Rosales argues that this understanding of ethnic community simplifies the complicated ways in which social networks and social capital work. Fruteros sheds light on those complexities and offers the concept of the “ethnic cage” to explain both the promise and pain of community.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Schenwar, Maya and Victoria Law. Prison by Any Other Name: The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reforms. New York: The New Press, 2020.
“Electronic monitoring. Locked-down drug treatment centers. House arrest. Mandated psychiatric treatment. Data-driven surveillance. Extended probation. These are some of the key alternatives held up as cost-effective substitutes for jails and prisons. But many of these so-called reforms actually widen the net, weaving in new strands of punishment and control, and bringing new populations, who would not otherwise have been subject to imprisonment, under physical control by the state.
As mainstream public opinion has begun to turn against mass incarceration, political figures on both sides of the spectrum are pushing for reform. But—though they’re promoted as steps to confront high rates of imprisonment—many of these measures are transforming our homes and communities into prisons instead.
In Prison by Any Other Name, activist journalists Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law reveal the way the kinder, gentler narrative of reform can obscure agendas of social control and challenge us to question the ways we replicate the status quo when pursuing change. A foreword by Michelle Alexander situates the book in the context of criminal justice reform conversations. Finally, the book offers a bolder vision for truly alternative justice practices.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Sellars-Garvia, Sylvia. The Woman on the Windowsill: A Tale of Mystery in Several Parts. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2020.
“On the morning of July 1, 1800, a surveyor and mapmaker named Cayetano Díaz opened the window of his study in Guatemala City to find a horrific sight: a pair of severed breasts. Offering a meticulously researched and evocative account of the quest to find the perpetrator and understand the motives behind such a brutal act, The Woman on the Windowsill pinpoints the last decade of the eighteenth-century as a watershed moment in Guatemalan history, when the nature of justice changed dramatically.
Sylvia Sellers-García reveals how this bizarre and macabre event came with an increased attention to crime that resulted in more forceful policing and reflected important policy decisions not only in Guatemala but throughout the Spanish Empire. This engaging true crime story serves as a backdrop for the broader consideration of the forces shaping Guatemala City at the brink of the modern era.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Signor, Michael. Cry Havoc: Charlottesville and American Democracy Under Siege. Public Affairs, 2020.
“The deadly invasion of Charlottesville, Virginia, by white nationalist militias in August 2017 is a microcosm of the challenges facing American democracy today. In his first-person account of one of recent American history’s most polarizing events, Michael Signer, then Charlottesville’s mayor, both tells the story of what really happened and draws out its larger significance.
Signer’s gripping, strikingly candid “you are there” narrative sets the events on the ground-the lead-up to August’s “Unite the Right” rally, the days of the weekend itself, the aftermath-in the larger context of a country struggling to find its way in a disruptive new era. He confronts some of the most challenging questions of our moment, namely how can we:
While Signer shows how easily our communities can be taken hostage by forces intent on destroying democratic norms and institutions, he concludes with a stirring call for optimism, revealing how the tragic events of Charlottesville are also bolstering American democracy from within.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Soboroff, Jacob. Separated: Inside an American Tragedy. New York: Custom House/Harper Collins, 2020.
In June 2018, Donald Trump’s most notorious decision as president had secretly been in effect for months before most Americans became aware of the astonishing inhumanity being perpetrated by their own government. Jacob Soboroff was among the first journalists to expose this reality after seeing firsthand the living conditions of the children in custody. His influential series of reports ignited public scrutiny that contributed to the president reversing his own policy and earned Soboroff the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Broadcast Journalism and, with his colleagues, the 2019 Hillman Prize for Broadcast Journalism.
But beyond the headlines, the complete, multilayered story lay untold. How, exactly, had such a humanitarian tragedy—now deemed “torture” by physicians—happened on American soil? Most important, what has been the human experience of those separated children and parents?
Soboroff has spent the past two years reporting the many strands of this complex narrative, developing sources from within the Trump administration who share critical details for the first time. He also traces the dramatic odyssey of one separated family from Guatemala, where their lives were threatened by narcos, to seek asylum at the U.S. border, where they were separated—the son ending up in Texas, and the father thousands of miles away, in the Mojave desert of central California. And he joins the heroes who emerged to challenge the policy, and who worked on the ground to reunite parents with children.
In this essential reckoning, Soboroff weaves together these key voices with his own experience covering this national issue—at the border in Texas, California, and Arizona; with administration officials in Washington, D.C., and inside the disturbing detention facilities. Separated lays out compassionately, yet in the starkest of terms, its human toll, and makes clear what is at stake in the 2020 presidential election.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Stinson, Philip Matthew, Sr. Criminology Explains Police Violence. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2020.
“Criminology Explains Police Violence offers a concise and targeted overview of criminological theory applied to the phenomenon of police violence. In this engaging and accessible book, Philip M. Stinson, Sr. highlights the similarities and differences among criminological theories, and provides linkages across explanatory levels and across time and geography to explain police violence.
This book is appropriate as a resource in criminology, policing, and criminal justice special topic courses, as well as a variety of violence and police courses such as policing, policing administration, police-community relations, police misconduct, and violence in society. Stinson uses examples from his own research to explore police violence, acknowledging the difficulty in studying the topic because violence is often seen as a normal part of policing.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Taylor, Nik, and Heather Fraser. Companion Animals and Domestic Violence: Rescuing Me, Rescuing You.. Cham, SWIT: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.
“In this book, Nik Taylor and Heather Fraser consider how we might better understand human-animal companionship in the context of domestic violence. The authors advocate an intersectional feminist understanding, drawing on a variety of data from numerous projects they have conducted with people, about their companion animals and links between domestic violence and animal abuse, arguing for a new understanding that enables animals to be constituted as victims of domestic violence in their own right. The chapters analyse the mutual, loving connections that can be formed across species, and in households where there is domestic violence. Companion Animals and Domestic Violence also speaks to the potentially soothing, healing and recovery oriented aspects of human-companion animal relationships before, during and after the violence, and will be of interest to various academic disciplines including social work, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, geography, as well as to professionals working in domestic violence or animal welfare service provision.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Vaz, Matthew. Running the Numbers: Race, Police and the History of Urban Gambling. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020.
“Every day in the United States, people test their luck in numerous lotteries, from state-run games to massive programs like Powerball and Mega Millions. Yet few are aware that the origins of today’s lotteries can be found in an African American gambling economy that flourished in urban communities in the mid-twentieth century. In Running the Numbers, Matthew Vaz reveals how the politics of gambling became enmeshed in disputes over racial justice and police legitimacy.
As Vaz highlights, early urban gamblers favored low-stakes games built around combinations of winning numbers. When these games became one of the largest economic engines in nonwhite areas like Harlem and Chicago’s south side, police took notice of the illegal business—and took advantage of new opportunities to benefit from graft and other corrupt practices. Eventually, governments found an unusual solution to the problems of illicit gambling and abusive police tactics: coopting the market through legal state-run lotteries, which could offer larger jackpots than any underground game. By tracing this process and the tensions and conflicts that propelled it, Vaz brilliantly calls attention to the fact that, much like education and housing in twentieth-century America, the gambling economy has also been a form of disputed terrain upon which racial power has been expressed, resisted, and reworked.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Victor, Felicia A. To Live and Defy in LA: How Gangsta Rap Changed America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2020.
“How is it that gangsta rap—so dystopian that it struck aspiring Brooklyn rapper and future superstar Jay-Z as “over the top”—was born in Los Angeles, the home of Hollywood, surf, and sun? In the Reagan era, hip-hop was understood to be the music of the inner city and, with rare exception, of New York. Rap was considered the poetry of the street, and it was thought to breed in close quarters, the product of dilapidated tenements, crime-infested housing projects, and graffiti-covered subway cars. To many in the industry, LA was certainly not hard-edged and urban enough to generate authentic hip-hop; a new brand of black rebel music could never come from La-La Land.
But it did. In To Live and Defy in LA, Felicia Viator tells the story of the young black men who built gangsta rap and changed LA and the world. She takes readers into South Central, Compton, Long Beach, and Watts two decades after the long hot summer of 1965. This was the world of crack cocaine, street gangs, and Daryl Gates, and it was the environment in which rappers such as Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E came of age.
By the end of the 1980s, these self-styled “ghetto reporters” had fought their way onto the nation’s radio and TV stations and thus into America’s consciousness, mocking law-and-order crusaders, exposing police brutality, outraging both feminists and traditionalists with their often retrograde treatment of sex and gender, and demanding that America confront an urban crisis too often ignored.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Whitlinger, Claire. Between Remembrance and Repair: Commemorating Racial Violence in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Chapel Hill, MS: University of North Carolina Press, 2020.
“Few places are more notorious for civil rights–era violence than Philadelphia, Mississippi, the site of the 1964 “Mississippi Burning” murders. Yet in a striking turn of events, Philadelphia has become a beacon in Mississippi’s racial reckoning in the decades since. Claire Whitlinger investigates how this community came to acknowledge its past, offering significant insight into the social impacts of commemoration. Examining two commemorations around key anniversaries of the murders held in 1989 and 2004, Whitlinger shows the differences in how those events unfolded. She also charts how the 2004 commemoration offered a springboard for the trial of former Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen for his role in the 1964 murders, the 2006 passage of Mississippi’s Civil Rights/Human Rights education bill, and the initiation of the Mississippi Truth Project. In doing so, Whitlinger provides the first comprehensive account of these high profile events and expands our understanding of how commemorations both emerge out of and catalyze associated memory movements.
Threading a compelling story with theoretical insights, Whitlinger delivers a study that will help scholars, students, and activists alike better understand the dynamics of commemorating difficult pasts, commemorative practices in general, and the links between memory, race, and social change.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Williams, Terry. Le Boogie Woogie: Inside After-Hours Clubs. New York: Columbia University Press, 2020.
“The “after-hours club” is a fixture of the African American ghetto. It is a semisecret, unlicensed “spot” where “regulars” and “tourists” mingle with “hustlers” to buy and use drugs long after regular bars are closed and the party has ended for the “squares.” After-hours clubs are found in most cities, but for people outside of their particular milieu, they are formidably difficult to identify and even more difficult to access.
The sociologist Terry Williams returns to the cocaine culture of Harlem in the 1980s and ’90s with an ethnographic account of a club he calls Le Boogie Woogie. He explores the life of a cast of characters that includes regulars and bar workers, dealers and hustlers, following social interaction around the club’s active bar, with its colorful staff and owner and the “sniffers” who patronize it. In so doing, Williams delves into the world of after-hours clubs, exploring their longstanding function in the African American community as neighborhood institutions and places of autonomy for people whom mainstream society grants few spaces of freedom. He contrasts Le Boogie Woogie, which he visited in the 1990s, with a Lower East Side club, dubbed Murphy’s Bar, twenty years later to show how “cool” remains essential to those outside the margins of society even as what it means to be “cool” changes. Le Boogie Woogie is an exceptional ethnographic portrait of an underground culture and its place within a changing city.” From Publisher’s Website.