Books Received
November 2020

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.

1312: Among the Ultras: A Journey with the World’s Most Extreme Fans, by James Montague.  London: Ebury Press, 2020.

“You can see them, but you don’t know them. Ultras are football fans like no others. A hugely visible and controversial part of the global game, their credo and aesthetic replicated in almost every league everywhere on earth, a global movement of extreme fandom and politics is also one of the largest youth movements in the world. Yet they remain unknown: an anti-establishment force that is transforming both football and politics. In this book, James Montague goes underground to uncover the true face of this dissident force for the first time. 1312: Among the Ultras tells the story of how the movement began and how it grew to become the global phenomenon that now dominates the stadiums from the Balkans and Buenos Aires. With unprecedented insider access, the book investigates how ultras have grown into a fiercely political movement, embracing extremes on both the left and right; fighting against the commercialisation of football and society – and against the attempts to control them by the authorities, who both covet and fear their power.” From Publisher’s Website.

Animal Traffic: Lively Capital in the Global Exotic Pet Trade, by Rosemary Claire Collard. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020.

“Parrots and snakes, wild cats and monkeys—exotic pets can now be found everywhere from skyscraper apartments and fenced suburban backyards to roadside petting zoos. In Animal Traffic Rosemary-Claire Collard investigates the multibillion-dollar global exotic pet trade and the largely hidden processes through which exotic pets are produced and traded as lively capital. Tracking the capture of animals in biosphere reserves in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize; their exchange at exotic animal auctions in the United States; and the attempted rehabilitation of former exotic pets at a wildlife center in Guatemala, Collard shows how exotic pets are fetishized both as commodities and as objects. Their capture and sale sever their ties to complex socio-ecological networks in ways that make them appear as if they do not have lives of their own. Collard demonstrates that the enclosure of animals in the exotic pet trade is part of a bioeconomic trend in which life is increasingly commodified and objectified under capitalism. Ultimately, she calls for a “wild life” politics in which animals are no longer enclosed, retain their autonomy, and can live for the sake of themselves.” From Publisher’s Website.

Armed Citizens: The Road from Ancient Rome to the Second Amendment, by Noah Shusterman. New York: Verso Publishing, 2020.

“Although much has changed in the United States since the eighteenth century, our framework for gun laws still largely relies on the Second Amendment and the patterns that emerged in the colonial era. America has long been a heavily armed, and racially divided, society, yet few citizens understand either why militias appealed to the founding fathers or the role that militias played in North American rebellions, in which they often functioned as repressive—and racist—domestic forces.

In Armed Citizens, Noah Shusterman explains for a general reader what eighteenth-century militias were and why the authors of the Constitution believed them to be necessary to the security of a free state. Suggesting that the question was never whether there was a right to bear arms, but rather, who had the right to bear arms, Shusterman begins with the lessons that the founding generation took from the history of Ancient Rome and Machiavelli’s reinterpretation of those myths during the Renaissance. He then turns to the rise of France’s professional army during seventeenth-century Europe and the fear that it inspired in England. Shusterman shows how this fear led British writers to begin praising citizens’ militias, at the same time that colonial America had come to rely on those militias as a means of defense and as a system to police enslaved peoples. Thus the start of the Revolution allowed Americans to portray their struggle as a war of citizens against professional soldiers, leading the authors of the Constitution to place their trust in citizen soldiers and a “well-regulated militia,” an idea that persists to this day.” From Publisher’s Website.

Bloody Bay: Grassroots Policing in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco, by Darren A. Raspa. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2020.

“Bloody Bay recounts the gritty history of law enforcement in San Francisco. Beginning just before the California gold rush and through the six decades leading up to the twentieth century, a culture of popular justice and grassroots community peacekeeping was fostered. This policing environment was forged in the hinterland mining camps of the 1840s, molded in the 1851 and 1856 civilian vigilante policing movements, refined in the 1877 joint police and civilian Committee of Safety, and perfected by the Chinatown Squad experiment of the late nineteenth century.

From the American takeover of California in 1846 during the U.S.–Mexico War to Police Commissioner Jesse B. Cook’s nationwide law enforcement advisory tour in 1912 and San Francisco’s debut as the jewel of a new American Pacific world during the Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915, San Francisco’s culture of popular justice, its multiethnic environment, and the unique relationships built between informal and formal policing created a more progressive policing environment than anywhere else in the nation. Originally an isolated gold rush boomtown on the margins of a young nation, San Francisco—as illustrated in this untold story—rose to become a model for modern community policing and police professionalism.” From Publisher’s Website.

Citizen Brown: Race, Democracy, and Inequality in the St. Louis Suburbs, by Colin Gordon. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019.

“The 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, ignited nationwide protests and brought widespread attention police brutality and institutional racism. But Ferguson was no aberration. As Colin Gordon shows in this urgent and timely book, the events in Ferguson exposed not only the deep racism of the local police department but also the ways in which decades of public policy effectively segregated people and curtailed citizenship not just in Ferguson but across the St. Louis suburbs.

Citizen Brown uncovers half a century of private practices and public policies that resulted in bitter inequality and sustained segregation in Ferguson and beyond. Gordon shows how municipal and school district boundaries were pointedly drawn to contain or exclude African Americans and how local policies and services—especially policing, education, and urban renewal—were weaponized to maintain civic separation. He also makes it clear that the outcry that arose in Ferguson was no impulsive outburst but rather an explosion of pent-up rage against long-standing systems of segregation and inequality—of which a police force that viewed citizens not as subjects to serve and protect but as sources of revenue was only the most immediate example. Worse, Citizen Brown illustrates the fact that though the greater St. Louis area provides some extraordinarily clear examples of fraught racial dynamics, in this it is hardly alone among American cities and regions.

Interactive maps and other companion resources to Citizen Brown are available at the book website.” From Publisher’s Website.

Conflict and Transnational Crime: Borders, Bullets and Business in Southeast Asia, by Florian Weigand.

“Exploring the links between armed conflict and transnational crime, Florian Weigand builds on in-depth empirical research into some of Southeast Asia’s murkiest borders. The disparate voices of drug traffickers, rebel fighters, government officials and victims of armed conflict are heard in Conflict and Transnational Crime, exploring perspectives that have been previously disregarded in understanding the field.

Weigand’s nuanced comparative analysis of four border regions in Southeast Asia counters the stereotypical view that conflict zones are lawless areas in which all kinds of criminal activities flourish. Chapters illustrate the logic that determines the relationship between armed conflict and transnational crime. Further, the book analyses how smuggling economies function in conflict zones, explaining why some rebel groups are involved in the smuggling economy more than others, and why state actors actually play a much more crucial role.

This crucial study will be a compelling read for international relations, political sociology and development studies scholars. The in-depth analysis of real-life situations will also greatly benefit policy-makers and aid organisations looking to better support areas at the heart of conflict and transnational crime.” From Publisher’s Website.

Courting Abyss: Free Speech and the Liberal Tradition, by John Durham Peters. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005 (paperback edition 2020).

“Courting the Abyss updates the philosophy of free expression for a world that is very different from the one in which it originated. The notion that a free society should allow Klansmen, neo-Nazis, sundry extremists, and pornographers to spread their doctrines as freely as everyone else has come increasingly under fire. At the same time, in the wake of 9/11, the Right and the Left continue to wage war over the utility of an absolute vision of free speech in a time of increased national security. Courting the Abyss revisits the tangled history of free speech, finding resolutions to these debates hidden at the very roots of the liberal tradition.

A mesmerizing account of the role of public communication in the Anglo-American world, Courting the Abyss shows that liberty’s earliest advocates recognized its fraternal relationship with wickedness and evil. While we understand freedom of expression to mean “anything goes,” John Durham Peters asks why its advocates so often celebrate a sojourn in hell and the overcoming of suffering. He directs us to such well-known sources as the prose and poetry of John Milton and the political and philosophical theory of John Locke, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., as well as lesser-known sources such as the theology of Paul of Tarsus. In various ways they all, he shows, envisioned an attitude of self-mastery or self-transcendence as a response to the inevitable dangers of free speech, a troubled legacy that continues to inform ruling norms about knowledge, ethical responsibility, and democracy today.

A world of gigabytes, undiminished religious passion, and relentless scientific discovery calls for a fresh account of liberty that recognizes its risk and its splendor. Instead of celebrating noxious doctrine as proof of society’s robustness, Courting the Abyss invites us to rethink public communication today by looking more deeply into the unfathomable mystery of liberty and evil.” From Publisher’s Website.

Culture Warlords: My Journey into the Dark Web of White Supremacy, by Talia Lavin. New York: Hachette Books, 2020.

“Talia Lavin is every skinhead’s worst nightmare: a loud and unapologetic Jewish woman, acerbic, smart, and profoundly antiracist, with the investigative chops to expose the tactics and ideologies of online hatemongers.

Culture Warlords is the story of how Lavin, a frequent target of extremist trolls (including those at Fox News), dove into a byzantine online culture of hate and learned the intricacies of how white supremacy proliferates online. Within these pages, she reveals the extremists hiding in plain sight online: Incels. White nationalists. White supremacists. National Socialists. Proud Boys. Christian extremists. In order to showcase them in their natural habitat, Talia assumes a range of identities, going undercover as a blonde Nazi babe, a forlorn incel, and a violent Aryan femme fatale. Along the way, she discovers a whites-only dating site geared toward racists looking for love, a disturbing extremist YouTube channel run by a fourteen-year-old girl with over 800,000 followers, the everyday heroes of the antifascist movement, and much more. By combining compelling stories chock-full of catfishing and gate-crashing with her own in-depth, gut-wrenching research, she also turns the lens of anti-Semitism, racism, and white power back on itself in an attempt to dismantle and decimate the online hate movement from within.

Shocking, humorous, and merciless in equal measure, Culture Warlords explores some of the vilest subcultures on the Web-and shows us how we can fight back.” From Publisher’s Website.

Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight against the Drug Companies That Delivered the Opioid Epidemic, by Eric Eyre. New York: Scribner, 2020.

”Death in Mud Lick is the story of a pharmacy in Kermit, West Virginia, that distributed 12 million opioid pain pills in three years to a town with a population of 382 people—and of one woman, desperate for justice, after losing her brother to overdose. Debbie Preece’s fight for accountability for her brother’s death took her well beyond the Sav-Rite Pharmacy in coal country, ultimately leading to three of the biggest drug wholesalers in the country. She was joined by a crusading lawyer and by local journalist, Eric Eyre, who uncovered a massive opioid pill-dumping scandal that shook the foundation of America’s largest drug companies—and won him a Pulitzer Prize.

Part Erin Brockovich, part SpotlightDeath in Mud Lick details the clandestine meetings with whistleblowers; a court fight to unseal filings that the drug distributors tried to keep hidden, a push to secure the DEA pill-shipment data, and the fallout after Eyre’s local paper, the Gazette-Mail, the smallest newspaper ever to win a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting, broke the story.

Eyre follows the opioid shipments into individual counties, pharmacies, and homes in West Virginia and explains how thousands of Appalachians got hooked on prescription drugs—resulting in the highest overdose rates in the country. But despite the tragedy, there is also hope as citizens banded together to create positive change—and won. A work of deep reporting and personal conviction, Eric Eyre’s intimate portrayal of a national public health crisis illuminates the shocking pattern of corporate greed and its repercussions for the citizens of West Virginia—and the nation—to this day.”

Deviant Opera: Sex, Power, and Perversion on Stage, by Axel Englund. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2020.

“Imagine Armida, Handel’s Saracen sorceress, performing her breakneck coloraturas in a black figure-hugging rubber dress, beating her insubordinate furies into submission with a cane, suspending a captive Rinaldo in chains from the ceiling of her dungeon. Mozart’s peasant girl Zerlina, meanwhile, is tying up and blindfolding her fiancé to seduce him out of his jealousy of Don Giovanni. And how about Wagner’s wizard, Klingsor, ensnaring his choir of flower maidens in elaborate Japanese rope bondage?

Opera, it would appear, has developed a taste for sadomasochism. For decades now, radical stage directors have repeatedly dressed canonical operas—from Handel and Mozart to Wagner and Puccini, and beyond—in whips, chains, leather, and other regalia of SM and fetishism. Deviant Opera seeks to understand this phenomenon, approaching the contemporary visual code of perversion as a lens through which opera focuses and scrutinizes its own configurations of sex, gender, power, and violence. The emerging image is that of an art form that habitually plays with an eroticization of cruelty and humiliation, inviting its devotees to take sensual pleasure in the suffering of others. Ultimately, Deviant Opera argues that this species of opera fantasizes about breaking the boundaries of its own role-playing, and pushing its erotic power exchanges from the enacted to the actual.“  From Publisher’s Website.

The Earps Invade Southern California: Bootlegging Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and the Old Soldiers’ Home, by Don Chaput and David D. De Haas. Denton, TX: University of North Texas Pres, 2020.

“Most readers of the Wild West know Wyatt Earp, Virgil Earp, and Morgan Earp for the famous shootout on the streets of Tombstone, Arizona. But few know the later years of the close-knit Earp family, which revolved around patriarch Nicholas Earp, and their last push at a major monetary coup in Los Angeles.

By 1900 a newly established Old Soldiers’ Home was in place at Sawtelle (between Santa Monica and Los Angeles), with thousands of veterans earning monthly pensions, but in an environment where alcohol was prohibited. Enter the Earps and their “blind pig” (illicit alcohol sales) scheme. Two of the Earps, Nicholas and son Newton, were enrolled in the Soldiers’ Home, and Newton’s far more famous half-brothers Wyatt and Virgil showed up from time to time, but the star of the operation was older brother James.

Booze would flow, the pension money would be “dispersed about,” and jails were sometimes filled, as the Earps and several other men on the make competed for the veterans’ money. We are also reintroduced to Old West figures such as “Gunfighter Surgeon” Dr. George Goodfellow, “Silver Tongued Orator” Thomas Fitch, millionaire George Hearst, detective J.V. Brighton, Lucky Baldwin, and many other well-known westerners who touched the lives of the Earps.” From Publisher’s Website.

Explorations in Critical Criminology: In Honor of William J. Chambliss, edited d. By Dawn L. Rothe and Victoria Collins. Brill Publishing, 2019.

“This volume is in honor of William J. Chambliss who has influenced and provided a foundation for new directions and approaches in sociology, criminology, critical criminology in particular, and the sociology of law. This is to name a few of the many inspirational and foundational ways he has changed the course and methods for generations to come, inspiring not only the editors and contributors of this volume. Each of the chapters detail various ways Bill’s work has impacted on our own perspectives and/or research including, but not limited to, the way we understand the value of non-traditional methods, law and power, the very definition of crime, organized crime, and unmasking the power structures and powerful that cause inequality, social ills and pains.”

Force of Words: The Logic of Terrorist Threats, by Joseph M. Brown. New York: Columbia University Press, 2020.

“Terrorist groups attain notoriety through acts of violence, but threats of future violence are just as important in attaining their political goals. Force of Words is a groundbreaking examination of the role of threats in terrorist strategies. Joseph M. Brown shows how terrorists use threats, true and false, to achieve key outcomes such as social control, economic attrition, and policy concessions. Brown demonstrates that threats are integral to terrorism on a tactical level as well, distracting security forces, drawing police into traps, and warning civilians out of harm’s way when terrorists seek to limit casualties.

Force of Words reorients the field of terrorism studies, prioritizing the symbolic, psychological dimension that makes this form of conflict distinctive. It expands the study of terrorist propaganda by detailing how militants tailor their threats to send the desired political message. Drawing on rich interview data, quantitative evidence, and case studies of the IRA, ETA, the Tamil Tigers, Shining Path, the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, Boko Haram, the Afghan Taliban, and ISIL, the book offers practical guidance for interpreting terrorists’ threats and assessing their credibility. Force of Words is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the logic of terrorism.” From Publisher’s Website.

From Back Alley to the Border: Criminal Abortion in California, 1920-1969, by Alicia Gutierrez-Romine. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2020.

“In From Back Alley to the Border, Alicia Gutierrez-Romine examines the history of criminal abortion in California and the role abortion providers played in exposing and exploiting the faults in California’s anti-abortion statute throughout the twentieth century. Focused on the women who used this underground network and the physicians who facilitated it, Gutierrez-Romine describes the operation of abortion providers from the 1920s through the 1960s, including regular physicians as well as women and African American abortionists, and the investigations and trials that surrounded them.

During the 1930s the Pacific Coast Abortion Ring, a large, coast-wide, and comparatively safe organized abortion syndicate, became the target of law enforcement agencies, forcing abortions across the border into Mexico and ushering in an era of Tijuana “abortion tourism” in the early 1950s. The movement south of the border ultimately compelled the California Supreme Court to rule its abortion statute “void for vagueness” in People v. Belous in 1969—four years before Roe v. Wade.

Gutierrez-Romine presents the first book focused on abortion on the West Coast and the border between the United States and Mexico and provides a new approach to studying how providers of illegal abortions and their female clients navigated this underground network.” From Publisher’s Website.

From Enforcers to Guardians: A Public Health Primer on Ending Police Violence, by Hannah L.F. Cooper and Mindy Thompson Fullilove. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020.

“Excessive police violence and its disproportionate targeting of minority communities has existed in the United States since police forces first formed in the colonial period. A personal tragedy for its victims, for the people who love them, and for their broader communities, excessive police violence is also a profound violation of human and civil rights.

Most public discourse about excessive police violence focuses, understandably, on the horrors of civilian deaths. In From Enforcers to Guardians, Hannah L. F. Cooper and Mindy Thompson Fullilove approach the issue from a radically different angle: as a public health problem. By using a public health framing, this book challenges readers to recognize that the suffering created by excessive police violence extends far outside of death to include sexual, psychological, neglectful, and nonfatal physical violence as well.

Arguing that excessive police violence has been deliberately used to marginalize working-class and minority communities, Cooper and Fullilove describe what we know about the history, distribution, and health impacts of police violence, from slave patrols in colonial times to war on drugs policing in the present-day United States. Finally, the book surveys efforts, including Barack Obama’s 2015 creation of the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, to eliminate police violence, and proposes a multisystem, multilevel strategy to end marginality and police violence and to achieve guardian policing.

Aimed at anyone seeking to understand the causes and distributions of excessive police violence—and to develop interventions to end it—From Enforcers to Guardians frames excessive police violence so that it can be understood, researched, and taught about through a public health lens.” From Publisher’s Website.

Forging the Star: The Official Modern History of the United States Marshals Service, by David S. Turk.  Denton, TX: University of North Texas Press, 2020.

“What do diverse events such as the integration of the University of Mississippi, the federal trials of Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, the confrontation at Ruby Ridge, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina have in common? The U.S. Marshals were instrumental in all of them. Whether pursuing dangerous felons in each of the 94 judicial districts or extraditing them from other countries; protecting federal judges, prosecutors, and witnesses from threats; transporting and maintaining prisoners and detainees; or administering the sale of assets obtained from criminal activity, the U.S. Marshals Service has adapted and overcome a mountain of barriers since their founding (on September 24, 1789) as the oldest federal law enforcement organization.

Forging the Star is a comprehensive official modern history of the U.S. Marshals, the oldest federal law enforcement organization. Their daily duties include pursuing dangerous felons in each of the 94 judicial districts or extraditing them from other countries; protecting federal judges, prosecutors, and witnesses from threats; transporting and maintaining prisoners and detainees; and administering the sale of assets obtained from criminal activity.” From Publisher’s Website.

Gender Violence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, edited by Laura L. O’Toole, Jessica R. Schiffman, and Rosemary Sullivan. 3rd ed.  New York: New York University Press, 2020.

“From Harvey Weinstein to Brett Kavanaugh, accusations of gender violence saturate today’s headlines. In this fully revised edition of Gender Violence, Laura L. O’Toole, Jessica R. Schiffman, and Rosemary Sullivan bring together a new, interdisciplinary group of scholars, with up-to-date material on emerging issues like workplace harassment, transgender violence, intersectionality, and the #MeToo movement.

Contributors provide a fresh, informed perspective on gender violence, in all of its various forms. With twenty-nine new contributors, and twelve original essays, the third edition now includes emerging contemporary issues such as LGBTQ violence, sex work, and toxic masculinity.” From Publisher’s Website.

Gideon’s Promise: A Public Defender Movement to Transform Criminal Justice, by Jonathan Rapping. Boston: Beacon Press, 2020.

“Combining wisdom drawn from over a dozen years as a public defender and cutting-edge research in the fields of organizational and cultural psychology, Jonathan Rapping proposes a radical cultural shift to a “fiercely client-based ethos” driven by values-based recruitment training, awakening defenders to their role in upholding an unjust status quo, and a renewed pride in the essential role of moral lawyering in a democratic society.

Public defenders represent over 80% of those who interact with the court system, a disproportionate number of whom are poor, non-white citizens who rely on them to navigate the law on their behalf. More often than not, even the most well-meaning of those defenders are over-worked, under-funded, and incentivized to put the interests of judges and politicians above those of their clients in a culture that beats the passion out of talented, driven advocates, and has led to an embarrassingly low standard of justice for those who depend on the promises of Gideon v. Wainwright.

However, rather than arguing for a change in rules that govern the actions of lawyers, judges, and other advocates, Rapping proposes a radical cultural shift to a “fiercely client-based ethos” driven by values-based recruitment and training, awakening defenders to their role in upholding an unjust status quo, and a renewed pride in the essential role of moral lawyering in a democratic society.

Through the story of founding Gideon’s Promise and anecdotes of his time as a defender and teacher, Rapping reanimates the possibility of public defenders serving as a radical bulwark against government oppression and a megaphone to amplify the voices of those they serve.” From Publisher’s Website.

Global Jihad: A Brief History, by Glenn E. Robinson. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2021.

“Most violent jihadi movements in the twentieth century focused on removing corrupt, repressive secular regimes throughout the Muslim world. But following the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a new form of jihadism emerged—global jihad—turning to the international arena as the primary locus of ideology and action. With this book, Glenn E. Robinson develops a compelling and provocative argument about this violent political movement’s evolution.

Global Jihad tells the story of four distinct jihadi waves, each with its own program for achieving a global end: whether a Jihadi International to liberate Muslim lands from foreign occupation; al-Qa’ida’s call to drive the United States out of the Muslim world; ISIS using “jihadi cool” to recruit followers; or leaderless efforts of stochastic terror to “keep the dream alive.” Robinson connects the rise of global jihad to other “movements of rage” such as the Nazi Brownshirts, White supremacists, Khmer Rouge, and Boko Haram. Ultimately, he shows that while global jihad has posed a low strategic threat, it has instigated an outsized reaction from the United States and other Western nations.” From Publisher’s Website.

The Grip of Sexual Violence in Conflict, by Karen Engle. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2020.

Contemporary feminist advocacy in human rights, international criminal law, and peace and security is gripped by the issue of sexual violence in conflict. But it hasn’t always been this way. Analyzing feminist international legal and political work over the past three decades, Karen Engle argues that it was not inevitable that sexual violence in conflict would become such a prominent issue.

Engle reveals that as feminists from around the world began to pay an enormous amount of attention to sexual violence in conflict, they often did so at the cost of attention to other issues, including the anti-militarism of the women’s peace movement; critiques of economic maldistribution, imperialism, and cultural essentialism by feminists from the global South; and the sex-positive positions of many feminists involved in debates about sex work and pornography. The Grip of Sexual Violence in Conflict offers a detailed examination of how these feminist commitments were not merely deprioritized, but undermined, by efforts to address the issue of sexual violence in conflict. Engle’s analysis reinvigorates vital debates about feminist goals and priorities, and spurs readers to question much of today’s common sense about the causes, effects, and proper responses to sexual violence in conflict.

Historical Sex Work: New Contributions from History and Archaeology, edited by Kristen R. Fellows, Angela J. Smith, and Anna M. Munns. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2020.

“This volume explores the sex trade in America from 1850 to 1920 through the perspectives of archaeologists and historians, expanding the geographic and thematic scope of research on the subject. Historical Sex Work builds on the work of previous studies in helping create an inclusive and nuanced view of social relations in United States history.

Many of these essays focus on lesser-known cities and tell the stories of people often excluded from history, including African American madams Ida Dorsey and Melvina Massey and the children of prostitutes. Contributors discuss how sex workers navigated spatial and legal landscapes, examining evidence such as the location of Hooker’s Division in Washington, D.C., and court records of prostitution-related crimes in Fargo, North Dakota. Broadening the discussion to include the roles of men in sex work, contributors write about the proprietor Tom Savage, the ways prostitution connected with ideas of masculinity, and alternative reasons men may have visited brothels, such as for treatment of venereal disease and impotence.

Focusing on the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration and including rarely investigated topics such as race, motherhood, and men, this volume deepens our understanding of the experiences of practitioners and consumers of the sex trade and shows how intersectionality affected the agency of many involved in the nation’s historical vice districts.” From Publisher’s Website.

Home Free: Prisoner Reentry and Residential Change after Hurricane Katrina. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.

“Each year in the United States, more than 625,000 individuals are released from prison. Half will be back in prison within just three years. Many former prisoners who reoffend return home to their old communities, where the same family, friends, drugs, and criminal opportunities await them.

In Home Free, David S. Kirk uses Hurricane Katrina as a natural experiment to examine whether residential relocation away from an old neighborhood can lead to desistance from crime. Drawing upon both quantitative and qualitative evidence and data from an experimental housing mobility program, he focuses on the lives of individuals released from Louisiana prisons soon after the hurricane, some who moved away from New Orleans and some who did not. Kirk further explores the impact of the Katrina-induced residential change, which provides a unique opportunity to investigate what happens when individuals move not just a short distance away from home, but to entirely different cities, counties, and social worlds. In a series of analyses, Kirk shows the impact that changes in structured daily activities and peer relationships, as well as opportunities for cognitive transformation can have to substantially reduce the likelihood of recidivism.

Addressing one of the biggest challenges now facing the criminal justice system, Home Free offers a story of redemption. In light of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Kirk provides important insights into how the power of a fresh start can have considerable policy implications for reducing recidivism.” From Publisher’s Website.

I Got a Monster: The Rise and Fall of America’s Most Corrupt Police Squad, by Baynard Woods and Brandon Soderberg. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2020.

“When Baltimore police sergeant Wayne Jenkins said he had a monster, he meant he had found a big-time drug dealer—one that he wanted to rob. This is the story of Jenkins and the Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF), a super group of dirty detectives who exploited some of America’s greatest problems: guns, drugs, toxic masculinity, and hypersegregation.

In the upside-down world of the GTTF, cops were robbers and drug dealers were the perfect victims, because no one believed them. When the federal government finally arrested the GTTF for robbery and racketeering in 2017, the stories of victims began to come out, revealing a vast criminal enterprise operating within the Baltimore Police Department.

Cops planted heroin to cover up a fatal crash that resulted from a botched robbery. They stole hundreds of thousands of dollars, faked video evidence, and forged a letter trying to break up the marriage of one of their victims to keep his wife from paying a lawyer. And a homicide detective was killed the day before he was scheduled to testify against the crooked cops.” From Publisher’s Website.

Islamophobia and the Law, edited by Cyra Akila Choudhury and Khaled A. Beydoun. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2020.

“Islamophobia and the Law is a foundational volume of critical scholarship on the emerging form of bigotry widely known as Islamophobia. This book brings together leading legal scholars to explore the emergence and rise of Islamophobia after the 9/11 terror attacks, particularly how the law brings about state-sponsored Islamophobia and acts as a dynamic catalyst of private Islamophobia and vigilante violence against Muslims. The first book of its kind, it is a critical read for scholars and practitioners, advocates and students interested in deepening their knowledge of the subject matter. This collection addresses Islamophobia in race, immigration and citizenship, criminal law and national security, in the use of courts to advance anti-Muslim projects and in law and society.”

Kleptopia: How Dirty Money is Conquering the World, by Tom Burgis. New York: HarperCollins, 2020.  

“In this shocking, meticulously reported work of narrative nonfiction, an award-winning investigative journalist exposes “capitalism’s monster”—global kleptocracy—and reveals how it is corrupting the world around us.

They are everywhere, the thieves and their people. Masters of secrecy. Until now we have detected their presence only by what they leave behind. A body in a burned-out Audi. Workers riddled with bullets in the Kazakh Desert. A rigged election in Zimbabwe. A British banker silenced and humiliated for trying to expose the truth about the City of London.

They have amassed more money than most countries. But what they are really stealing is power.

In this real-life thriller packed with jaw-dropping revelations, award-winning investigative journalist Tom Burgis weaves together four stories that reveal a terrifying global web of corruption: the troublemaker from Basingstoke who stumbles on the secrets of a Swiss bank, the ex-Soviet billionaire constructing a private empire, the righteous Canadian lawyer with a mysterious client, and the Brooklyn crook protected by the CIA.

Glimpses of this shadowy world have emerged over the years. In Kleptopia, Burgis connects the dots. He follows the dirty money that is flooding the global economy, emboldening dictators, and poisoning democracies. From the Kremlin to Beijing, Harare to Riyadh, Paris to the White House, the trail shows something even more sinister: the thieves are uniting. And the human cost will be great.” From Publisher’s Website.

A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom, by Brittany K. Barnett. New York: Crown Publishing, 2020.

“Brittany K. Barnett was only a law student when she came across the case that would change her life forever—that of Sharanda Jones, single mother, business owner, and, like Brittany, Black daughter of the rural South. A victim of America’s devastating war on drugs, Sharanda had been torn away from her young daughter and was serving a life sentence without parole—for a first-time drug offense. In Sharanda, Brittany saw haunting echoes of her own life, as the daughter of a formerly incarcerated mother. As she studied this case, a system came into focus in which widespread racial injustice forms the core of America’s addiction to incarceration. Moved by Sharanda’s plight, Brittany set to work to gain her freedom.

This had never been the plan. Bright and ambitious, Brittany was a successful accountant on her way to a high-powered future in corporate law. But Sharanda’s case opened the door to a harrowing journey through the criminal justice system. By day she moved billion-dollar deals, and by night she worked pro bono to free clients in near hopeless legal battles. Ultimately, her path transformed her understanding of injustice in the courts, of genius languishing behind bars, and the very definition of freedom itself.

Brittany’s riveting memoir is at once a coming-of-age story and a powerful evocation of what it takes to bring hope and justice to a system built to resist them both.” From Publisher’s Website.

The Ku Klux Klan in the Heartland, by James H. Madison. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2020.

“”Who is an American?” asked the Ku Klux Klan. It is a question that echoes as loudly today as it did in the early twentieth century. But who really joined the Klan? Were they “hillbillies, the Great Unteachables” as one journalist put it? It would be comforting to think so, but how then did they become one of the most powerful political forces in our nation’s history?

In The Ku Klux Klan in the Heartland, renowned historian James H. Madison details the creation and reign of the infamous organization. Through the prism of their operations in Indiana and the Midwest, Madison explores the Klan’s roots in respectable white protestant society. Convinced that America was heading in the wrong direction because of undesirable “un-American” elements, Klan members did not see themselves as bigoted racist extremists but as good Christian patriots joining proudly together in a righteous moral crusade.

The Ku Klux Klan in the Heartland offers a detailed history of this powerful organization and examines how, through its use of intimidation, religious belief, and the ballot box, the ideals of Klan in the 1920s have on-going implications for America today.” From Publisher’s Website.

Little Lindy is Kidnapped: How the Media Covered the Crime of the Century, by Thomas Doherty. New York: Columbia University Press, 2020.

“The biggest crime story in American history began on the night of March 1, 1932, when the twenty-month-old son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh was snatched from his crib in Hopewell, New Jersey. The news shocked a nation enthralled with the aviator, the first person to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic. American law enforcement marshalled all its resources to return “Little Lindy” to the arms of his parents—and perhaps even more energized were the legions of journalists catering to a public whose appetite for Lindbergh news was insatiable.

In Little Lindy Is Kidnapped, Thomas Doherty offers a lively and comprehensive cultural history of the media coverage of the abduction and its aftermath. Beginning with Lindbergh’s ascent to fame and proceeding through the trial and execution of the accused kidnapper, Doherty traces how newspapers, radio, and newsreels reported on what was dubbed the “crime of the century.” He casts the affair as a transformative moment for American journalism, analyzing how the case presented new challenges and opportunities for each branch of the media in the days before the rise of television. Coverage of the Lindbergh story, Doherty reveals, set the template for the way the media would treat breaking news ever after. An engrossing account of an endlessly fascinating case, Little Lindy Is Kidnapped sheds new light on an enduring quality of journalism ever since: the media’s eye on a crucial part of the story—itself.” From Publisher’s Website

Lynching and Local Justice, by Danielle F. Jung and Dara Kay Cohen. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge. 2020.

“What are the social and political consequences of poor state governance and low state legitimacy? Under what conditions does lynching – lethal, extralegal group violence to punish offenses to the community – become an acceptable practice? We argue lynching emerges when neither the state nor its challengers have a monopoly over legitimate authority. When authority is contested or ambiguous, mass punishment for transgressions can emerge that is public, brutal, and requires broad participation. Using new cross-national data, we demonstrate lynching is a persistent problem in dozens of countries over the last four decades. Drawing on original survey and interview data from Haiti and South Africa, we show how lynching emerges and becomes accepted. Specifically, support for lynching most likely occurs in one of three conditions: when states fail to provide governance, when non-state actors provide social services, or when neighbors must rely on self-help.” From Publisher’s Website.

Mass Murder and Serial Murder: An Integrative Look, by Arnon Edelstein. New York: ibidem Publishing, 2020

“While “mass murder” refers to the murder of several people at the same time, “serial murder” describes several killings by the same perpetrator in a repetitive pattern. Usually these incidents count a high toll of victims and create significant anxiety in the public. Yet, the rate of finding murderers in these cases is relatively very low, especially in serial murders; that is if they are ever caught at all.

Arnon Edelstein examines the various categories of mass murder and serial murder and suggests a new category: “mass-serial murder”. He presents and criticizes the most up-to-date research and theoretical literature in the field and suggests an integrative theoretical model. This groundbreaking volume is intended for criminologists, psychologists, sociologists, students, and readers who are interested in truly understanding the complicated aspects of this fascinating field of investigation.” From Publisher’s Website.

Mass Murder in California’s Empty Quarter: A Tale of Tribal Treachery at the Cedarville Rancheria, by Ray A. March. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2020.

“Mass Murder in California’s Empty Quarter exposes a story of mass murder, a community’s racism, and tribal treachery in a small Paiute tribe. On February 20, 2014, an unseasonably warm winter day for the little agriculture town of Alturas, California, Cherie Rhoades walked into the Cedarville Rancheria’s Paiute tribal offices. In the space of nine minutes she killed four people and wounded two others using two 9mm semiautomatic handguns. In that time she slayed half of her immediate family and became only the second woman, and the first Native American woman, to commit mass murder in the United States.

Ray A. March threads the story through the afternoon of the murders and explores the complex circumstances that led to it, including conditions of extreme economic disparity, privations resulting from tribal disenrollment, ineptness at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and family dysfunction coupled with a possible undiagnosed mental illness.

This account of the tragic murders and the deplorable conditions leading up to them shed light on the formidable challenges Native Americans face in the twenty-first century as they strive to govern themselves under the guise of U.S.-sanctioned sovereignty.” From Publisher’s Website.

Mettrax: A History of France’s Most Venerated Carceral Institution, by Stephen A. Toth.  Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2020.

“The Mettray Penal Colony was a private reformatory without walls, established in France in 1840 for the rehabilitation of young male delinquents. Foucault linked its opening to the most significant change in the modern status of prisons and now, at last, Stephen Toth takes us behind the gates to show how the institution legitimized France’s repression of criminal youth and added a unique layer to the nation’s carceral system.

Drawing on insights from sociology, criminology, critical theory, and social history, Stephen Toth dissects Mettray’s social anatomy, exploring inmates’ experiences. More than 17,000 young men passed through the reformatory before its closure, and Toth situates their struggles within changing conceptions of childhood and adolescence in modern France. Mettray demonstrates that the colony was an ill-conceived project marked by internal contradictions. Its social order was one of subjection and subversion, as officials struggled for order and inmates struggled for autonomy.

Toth’s formidable archival work exposes the nature of the relationships between, and among, prisoners and administrators. He explores the daily grind of existence: living conditions, discipline, labor, sex, and violence. Thus, he gives voice to the incarcerated, not simply to the incarcerators, whose ideas and agendas tend to dominate the historical record. Mettray is, above all else, a deeply personal illumination of life inside France’s most venerated carceral institution.” From Publisher’s Website.

Migranthood: Youth in a New Era of Deportation, by Lauren Heidbrink. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2020.

“Migranthood chronicles deportation from the perspectives of Indigenous youth who migrate unaccompanied from Guatemala to Mexico and the United States. In communities of origin in Guatemala, zones of transit in Mexico, detention centers for children in the U.S., government facilities receiving returned children in Guatemala, and communities of return, young people share how they negotiate everyday violence and discrimination, how they and their families prioritize limited resources and make difficult decisions, and how they develop and sustain relationships over time and space.

Anthropologist Lauren Heidbrink shows that Indigenous youth cast as objects of policy, not participants, are not passive recipients of securitization policies and development interventions. Instead, Indigenous youth draw from a rich social, cultural, and political repertoire of assets and tactics to navigate precarity and marginality in Guatemala, including transnational kin, social networks, and financial institutions. By attending to young people’s perspectives, we learn the critical roles they play as contributors to household economies, local social practices, and global processes. The insights and experiences of young people uncover the transnational effects of securitized responses to migration management and development on individuals and families, across space, citizenship status, and generation. They likewise provide evidence to inform child protection and human rights locally and internationally.” From Publisher’s Website.

Murder in Montague: Frontier Justice and Retribution in Texas, by Glen Sample Ely.
Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma. 2020.


“On a sweltering August night in 1876, Methodist minister William England, his wife, Selena, and two of her children were brutally slaughtered in their North Texas home. Acting on Selena’s deathbed testimony, a neighbor, his brother-in-law, and a friend were arrested and tried for the murders. Murder in Montague tells the story of this gruesome crime and its murky aftermath. In this engrossing blend of true crime reporting, social drama, and legal history, author Glen Sample Ely presents a vivid snapshot of frontier justice and retribution in Texas following the Civil War.

The sheer brutality of the Montague murders terrified settlers already traumatized by decades of chaos, violence, and fear—from the deadly raids of Comanche and Kiowa Indians to the terrors of vigilantes, lynchings, and Reconstruction lawlessness. But the crime’s aftermath—involving five Texas governors, five trials at Montague and Gainesville, five appeals to the Texas Court of Appeals, and three life sentences at hard labor in the state’s abominable and inhumane prison system—offered little in the way of reassurance or resolution.

Viewed from any perspective, the 1876 England family murders were both a human tragedy and a miscarriage of justice. Combining the long view of history and the intimate detail of true crime reporting, Murder in Montague deftly captures this moment of reckoning in the story of Texas, as vigilante justice grudgingly gave way to an established system of law and order.” From Publisher’s Website.

Murder of Professor Schlick: The Rise and Fall of the Vienna Circle, by David Edmonds. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2020.

“On June 22, 1936, the philosopher Moritz Schlick was on his way to deliver a lecture at the University of Vienna when Johann Nelböck, a deranged former student of Schlick’s, shot him dead on the university steps. Some Austrian newspapers defended the madman, while Nelböck himself argued in court that his onetime teacher had promoted a treacherous Jewish philosophy. David Edmonds traces the rise and fall of the Vienna Circle—an influential group of brilliant thinkers led by Schlick—and of a philosophical movement that sought to do away with metaphysics and pseudoscience in a city darkened by fascism, anti-Semitism, and unreason.

The Vienna Circle’s members included Otto Neurath, Rudolf Carnap, and the eccentric logician Kurt Gödel. On its fringes were two other philosophical titans of the twentieth century, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Popper. The Circle championed the philosophy of logical empiricism, which held that only two types of propositions have cognitive meaning, those that can be verified through experience and those that are analytically true. For a time, it was the most fashionable movement in philosophy. Yet by the outbreak of World War II, Schlick’s group had disbanded and almost all its members had fled. Edmonds reveals why the Austro-fascists and the Nazis saw their philosophy as such a threat.

The Murder of Professor Schlick paints an unforgettable portrait of the Vienna Circle and its members while weaving an enthralling narrative set against the backdrop of economic catastrophe and rising extremism in Hitler’s Europe.” From Publisher’s Website.

Never Caught Twice: Horse Stealing in Western Nebraska, 1850-1890. By Matthew S. Luckett. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2020.

“Never Caught Twice presents the untold history of horse raiding and stealing on the Great Plains of western Nebraska. By investigating horse stealing by and from four Plains groups—American Indians, the U.S. Army, ranchers and cowboys, and farmers—Matthew S. Luckett clarifies a widely misunderstood crime in Western mythology and shows that horse stealing transformed plains culture and settlement in fundamental and surprising ways.

From Lakota and Cheyenne horse raids to rustling gangs in the Sandhills, horse theft was widespread and devastating across the region. The horse’s critical importance in both Native and white societies meant that horse stealing destabilized communities and jeopardized the peace throughout the plains, instigating massacres and murders and causing people to act furiously in defense of their most expensive, most important, and most beloved property. But as it became increasingly clear that no one legal or military institution could fully control it, would-be victims desperately sought a solution that would spare their farms and families from the calamitous loss of a horse. For some, that solution was violence. Never Caught Twice shows how the story of horse stealing across western Nebraska and the Great Plains was in many ways the story of the old West itself.” From Publisher’s Website.

Nobody’s People: Hierarchy as Hope in a Society of Thieves, by Anastasia Piliavsky. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2020.

“What if we could imagine hierarchy not as a social ill, but as a source of social hope? Taking us into a “caste of thieves” in northern India, Nobody’s People depicts hierarchy as a normative idiom through which people imagine better lives and pursue social ambitions. Failing to find a place inside hierarchic relations, the book’s heroes are “nobody’s people”: perceived as worthless, disposable and so open to being murdered with no regret or remorse. Following their journey between death and hope, we learn to perceive vertical, non-equal relations as a social good, not only in rural Rajasthan, but also in much of the world—including settings stridently committed to equality. Challenging egalo-normative commitments, Anastasia Piliavsky asks scholars across the disciplines to recognize hierarchy as a major intellectual resource.”  From Publisher’s Website.

A Peculiar Indifference: The Neglected Toll of Violence on Black America, by Elliott Currie.  New York: Metropolitan Books, 2020.

“About 170,000 Black Americans have died in homicides just since the year 2000. Violence takes more years of life from Black men than cancer, stroke, and diabetes combined; a young Black man in the United States has a fifteen times greater chance of dying from violence than his white counterpart. Even Black women suffer violent death at a higher rate than white men, despite homicide’s usual gender patterns. Yet while the country has been rightly outraged by the recent spate of police killings of Black Americans, the shocking amount of “everyday” violence that plagues African American communities receives far less attention, and has nearly disappeared as a target of public policy.

As acclaimed criminologist Elliott Currie makes clear, this pervasive violence is a direct result of the continuing social and economic marginalization of many Black communities in America. Those conditions help perpetuate a level of preventable trauma and needless suffering that has no counterpart anywhere in the developed world. Compelling and accessible, drawing on a rich array of both classic and contemporary research, A Peculiar Indifference describes the dimensions and consequences of this enduring emergency, explains its causes, and offers an urgent plea for long-overdue social action to end it.” From Publisher’s Website.

A Place Outside the Law: Forgotten Voices from Guantanamo. By Peter Jan Honigsberg. Boston:  Beacon Press.

“Law scholar and Witness to Guantánamo founder Peter Jan Honigsberg uncovers a haunting portrait of life at the military prison and its toll, not only on the detainees and their loved ones but also on its military and civilian personnel and the journalists who reported on it.

Honigsberg conducted 158 interviews across 20 countries so that the people who lived and worked there could tell their heartbreaking and inspirational stories. In each one, we face the reality that the healing process cannot begin until we start the conversation about what was done in the name of protecting our country. These are a few of them. Many alleged operatives in Guantánamo were purchased by the United States for ransom from Afghan and Pakistani soldiers. Brandon Neely, a prison guard who processed the first group of suspected operatives to arrive in Cuba, flew to London to embrace the detainees he guarded after leaving the military. Navy whistleblower Matt Diaz covertly released the names of 500 detainees by sending them in a greeting card to a lawyer in New York. Journalist Carol Rosenberg committed the past 17 years of her career to documenting life at Guantánamo. And Damien Corsetti, an interrogator who came to be known as the “King of Torture,” received ribbons and awards for the same cruel actions for which he was later prosecuted.

In startling, aching prose, A Place Outside the Law shines a light on these unheard voices, and through them, encourages the global community to embrace humanity as our greatest tool to make the world a safer place.” From Publisher’s Website.

Policing the Second Amendment: Guns, Law Enforcement, and the Politics of Race, by Jennifer Carlson. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 2020.

“The United States is steeped in guns, gun violence—and gun debates. As arguments rage on, one issue has largely been overlooked—Americans who support gun control turn to the police as enforcers of their preferred policies, but the police themselves disproportionately support gun rights over gun control. Yet who do the police believe should get gun access? When do they pursue aggressive enforcement of gun laws? And what part does race play in all of this? Policing the Second Amendment unravels the complex relationship between the police, gun violence, and race. Rethinking the terms of the gun debate, Jennifer Carlson shows how the politics of guns cannot be understood—or changed—without considering how the racial politics of crime affect police attitudes about guns.

Drawing on local and national newspapers, interviews with close to eighty police chiefs, and a rare look at gun licensing processes, Carlson explores the ways police talk about guns, and how firearms are regulated in different parts of the country. Examining how organizations such as the National Rifle Association have influenced police perspectives, she describes a troubling paradox of guns today—while color-blind laws grant civilians unprecedented rights to own, carry, and use guns, people of color face an all-too-visible system of gun criminalization. This racialized framework—undergirding who is “a good guy with a gun” versus “a bad guy with a gun”—informs and justifies how police understand and pursue public safety.

Policing the Second Amendment demonstrates that the terrain of gun politics must be reevaluated if there is to be any hope of mitigating further tragedies.” From Publisher’s Website.

Representing Mass Violence: Conflicting Responses to Human Rights Violations in Darfur, by Joachim J. Savelsberg. University of California Press, 2015.

“How do interventions by the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court influence representations of mass violence? What images arise instead from the humanitarianism and diplomacy fields? How are these competing perspectives communicated to the public via mass media? Zooming in on the case of Darfur, Joachim J. Savelsberg analyzes more than three thousand news reports and opinion pieces and interviews leading newspaper correspondents, NGO experts, and foreign ministry officials from eight countries to show the dramatic differences in the framing of mass violence around the world and across social fields. Representing Mass Violence contributes to our understanding of how the world acknowledges and responds to violence in the Global South.” From Publisher’s Website.

Sentiment, Reason, and Law: Policing in the Republic of China on Taiwan, by Jeffrey T. Martin.  Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2019.

“What if the job of police was to cultivate the political will of a community to live with itself (rather than enforce law, keep order, or fight crime)? In Sentiment, Reason, and Law, Jeffrey T. Martin describes a world where that is the case.

The Republic of China on Taiwan spent nearly four decades as a single-party state under dictatorial rule (1949–1987) before transitioning to liberal democracy. Here, Martin describes the social life of a neighborhood police station during the first rotation in executive power following the democratic transition. He shows an apparent paradox of how a strong democratic order was built on a foundation of weak police powers, and demonstrates how that was made possible by the continuity of an illiberal idea of policing. His conclusion from this paradox is that the purpose of the police was to cultivate the political will of the community rather than enforce laws and keep order.

As Sentiment, Reason, and Law shows, the police force in Taiwan exists as an “anthropological fact,” bringing an order of reality that is always, simultaneously and inseparably, meaningful and material. Martin unveils the power of this fact, demonstrating how the politics of sentiment that took shape under autocratic rule continued to operate in everyday policing in the early phase of the democratic transformation, even as a more democratic mode of public reason and the ultimate power of legal right were becoming more significant.” From Publisher’s Website.

The Short Life and Curious Death of Free Speech in America, by Ellis Cose. New York: Amistad, 2020.

“Free speech has long been one of American’s most revered freedoms. Yet now, more than ever, free speech is reshaping America’s social and political landscape even as it is coming under attack. Bestselling author and critically acclaimed journalist Ellis Cose wades into the debate to reveal how this Constitutional right has been coopted by the wealthy and politically corrupt.

It is no coincidence that historically huge disparities in income have occurred at times when moneyed interests increasingly control political dialogue. Over the past four years, Donald Trump’s accusations of “fake news,” the free use of negative language against minority groups, “cancel culture,” and blatant xenophobia have caused Americans to question how far First Amendment protections can—and should—go.

Cose offers an eye-opening wholly original examination of the state of free speech in America today, litigating ideas that touch on every American’s life. Social media meant to bring us closer, has become a widespread disseminator of false information keeping people of differing opinions and political parties at odds. The nation—and world—watches in shock as white nationalism rises, race and gender-based violence spreads, and voter suppression widens. The problem, Cose makes clear, is that ordinary individuals have virtually no voice at all. He looks at the danger of hyper-partisanship and how the discriminatory structures that determine representation in the Senate and the electoral college threaten the very concept of democracy. He argues that the safeguards built into the Constitution to protect free speech and democracy have instead become instruments of suppression by an unfairly empowered political minority.

But we can take our rights back, he reminds us. Analyzing the experiences of other countries, weaving landmark court cases together with a critical look at contemporary applications, and invoking the lessons of history, including the Great Migration, Cose sheds much-needed light on this cornerstone of American culture and offers a clarion call for activism and change.” From Publisher’s Website.

State Violence, Torture, and Political Prisoners: On the Role Played by Amnesty International in Brazil During the Dictatorship (1964-1985) by Renata Meirelles. Abingdon, Oxon; New York: Routledge, 2019.

“State Violence, Torture, and Political Prisoners discusses the activities of Amnesty International during the period of Brazil’s dictatorship (1964–1985). During the dictatorship, Amnesty assisted political prisoners who were submitted to torture and helped to publicise charges of torture against agents of the military regime’s repressive apparatus. Through a specific examination of Amnesty’s work with Brazilian political prisoners, this book explores how Amnesty adapted its organisational principles – such as non-violence and the focus on individual cases – during this time.

In 1967 Amnesty experienced a severe internal crisis which prompted the organisation to make structural changes. These changes enabled it to expand its activities beyond Europe to Latin America, including Brazil. This book examines one of Amnesty International’s first major campaigns against torture and the impact this had on the organisation’s development of a new agenda. Bringing a critical and historical perspective on Amnesty’s work, the book contributes to the debate on the role of human rights organisations in addressing human rights abuses worldwide. It makes a significant contribution to international research on state crime, human rights, and torture.” From Publisher’s Website.

Stranger Danger: Family Values, Childhood, and the American Carceral State, by Paul M. Renfro. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.

“Beginning with Etan Patz’s disappearance in Manhattan in 1979, a spate of high-profile cases of missing and murdered children stoked anxieties about the threats of child kidnapping and exploitation. Publicized through an emerging twenty-four-hour news cycle, these cases supplied evidence of what some commentators dubbed “a national epidemic” of child abductions committed by “strangers.”

In this book, Paul M. Renfro narrates how the bereaved parents of missing and slain children turned their grief into a mass movement and, alongside journalists and policymakers from both major political parties, propelled a moral panic. Leveraging larger cultural fears concerning familial and national decline, these child safety crusaders warned Americans of a supposedly widespread and worsening child kidnapping threat, erroneously claiming that as many as fifty thousand American children fell victim to stranger abductions annually. The actual figure was (and remains) between one hundred and three hundred, and kidnappings perpetrated by family members and acquaintances occur far more frequently. Yet such exaggerated statistics-and the emotionally resonant images and narratives deployed behind them-led to the creation of new legal and cultural instruments designed to keep children safe and to punish the “strangers” who ostensibly wished them harm. Ranging from extensive child fingerprinting drives to the milk carton campaign, from the AMBER Alerts that periodically rattle Americans’ smart phones to the nation’s sprawling system of sex offender registration, these instruments have widened the reach of the carceral state and intensified surveillance practices focused on children.

Stranger Danger reveals the transformative power of this moral panic on American politics and culture, showing how ideas and images of endangered childhood helped build a more punitive American state.” From Publisher’s Website.

Summoned at Midnight: A Story of Race and the Last Military Executions at Fort Leavenworth, by Richard A. Serrano. Boston: Beacon Press, 2020.

“Richard A. Serrano reveals how racial discrimination in the US military criminal justice system determined whose lives mattered and deserved a second chance and whose did not. Between 1955 and 1961, a group of white and black condemned soldiers lived together on death row at Fort Leavenworth military prison. Although convicted of equally heinous crimes, all the white soldiers were eventually paroled and returned to their families, spared by high-ranking army officers, the military courts, sympathetic doctors, highly trained attorneys, the White House staff, or President Eisenhower himself.

During the same 6-year period, only black soldiers were hanged. Some were cognitively challenged, others addicted to substances or mentally unbalanced—the same mitigating circumstances that had won white soldiers their death row reprieves. These men lacked the benefits of political connections, expert lawyers, or public support; only their mothers begged fruitlessly for their lives to be spared. By 1960, John Bennett was the youngest black inmate at Fort Leavenworth. His lost battle for clemency was fought between 2 vastly different presidential administrations—Eisenhower’s and Kennedy’s—as the civil rights movement was gaining steam.

Drawing on interviews, trial transcripts, and rarely published archival material, Serrano brings to life the characters in this lost history: from desperate mothers and disheartened appeals lawyers, to the prison doctors, psychiatrists, and chaplains. He shines a light on the scandalous legal maneuvering that reached the doors of the White House and the disparity in capital punishment that was cut so strictly along racial lines.” From Publisher’s Website.

Tortured Logic: Why Some Americans Support the Use of Torture in Counterterrorism, by Erin M. Kearns and Joseph K. Young. New York: Columbia University Press. 2020.

“Experts in the intelligence community say that torture is ineffective. Yet much of the public appears unconvinced: surveys show that nearly half of Americans think that torture can be acceptable for counterterrorism purposes. Why do people persist in supporting torture—and can they be persuaded to change their minds?

In Tortured Logic, Erin M. Kearns and Joseph K. Young draw upon a novel series of group experiments to understand how and why the average citizen might come to support the use of torture techniques. They find evidence that when torture is depicted as effective in the media, people are more likely to approve of it. Their analysis weighs variables such as the ethnicity of the interrogator and the suspect; the salience of one’s own mortality; and framing by experts. Kearns and Young also examine who changes their opinions about torture and how, demonstrating that only some individuals have fixed views while others have more malleable beliefs. They argue that efforts to reduce support for torture should focus on convincing those with fluid views that torture is ineffective. The book features interviews with experienced interrogators and professionals working in the field to contextualize its findings. Bringing empirical rigor to a fraught topic, Tortured Logic has important implications for understanding public perceptions of counterterrorism strategy.” From Publisher’s Website.

Twenty Years of School-Based Mass Shooting in the United States, by Angelyn Spaulding Flowers and Cotina Lane Pixley. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2020.

“Twenty Years of School-based Mass Shootings in the United States: Columbine to Santa Fe is an examination of twenty years of school-based mass shootings, from Columbine to Santa Fe, exploring the larger environmental framework within which these incidents occurred. Angelyn Spaulding Flowers and Cotina Lane Pixley use a mixed-methods approach to examine a diverse set of factors, identifying risk and protective factors along with specifically desired public policy responses by evaluating the convergence of variables from the range of school-based mass shootings included in this study. These variables include the type of weapon used, the availability of that type of weapon, perpetrator characteristics, school characteristics, as well as the geospatial and demographic characteristics of the school neighborhood. These school-based mass shooting incidents are explored at both the state and regional level and are further discussed in comparison to leisure time gun use, homicide rates, and suicide rates in the geographical area. The overarching geospatial analytical framework for this research also includes an examination of the manner in which existing policy enactments such as state gun laws vary by geography. Spaulding Flowers and Lane Pixley argue that the increased number of fatalities in school-based mass shooting is largely due to the increased lethality of the weapons, and they propose alternative solutions. Scholars of criminology, sociology, political science, and history will find this book particularly useful.” Froom Publisher’s Website.

Unconscionable Crimes: How Norms Explain and Constrain Mass Atrocities, by Paul Morrow. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2020.

“How can we explain—and prevent—such large-scale atrocities as the Holocaust? In Unconscionable Crimes, Paul Morrow presents the first general theory of the influence of norms on genocide and mass atrocity. After offering a clear overview of norms and norm transformation rooted in recent work in moral and political philosophy, Morrow examines numerous twentieth-century cases of mass atrocity, drawing on documentary and testimonial sources to illustrate the influence of norms before, during, and after such crimes.

Morrow considers such key explanatory pathways as the erosion of moral norms through brutalization and demoralization, the exploitation of legal norms to legitimize persecution and deny violence, and the enduring influence of gender-based social norms on targets and perpetrators of atrocities. Key constraints on atrocities would include the revision of moral norms that have traditionally guided the conduct of soldiers and humanitarian aid workers, the strengthening of legal prohibitions on large-scale crimes through statutory and institutional reform, and the elimination of social norms prescribing silence about personal experience of atrocities. Throughout, Morrow emphasizes the differences among moral, legal, and social norms, which stand in different relations to real or perceived social practices, and exhibit different patterns of creation, modification, and elimination. Ultimately, he argues, norms of each kind are integral to the explanation and the prevention of mass atrocities.” From Publisher’s Website.

Violence Interrupted: Confronting Sexual Violence on University Campuses, edited by Diane Crocker, Joanne Minaker and Amanda Nelund. Montreal: Mc-Gill University Press, 2020.

“We live in a moment of renewed and highly visible action on the issue of sexual violence. Rape culture is a real and salient force that dominates campus climates and student experiences. Canada has drafted a national framework, provincial legislation, and institutional policy to address incidences of sexual violence, and students have demanded that their universities respond. Yet rape culture persists on campuses throughout North America.

Violence Interrupted presents different ways of thinking about sexual violence. It draws together multiple disciplinary perspectives to synthesize new conceptual directions on the nature of the problem and the changes that are required to address it. Analyzing survey data, educational programs, participatory photography projects, interviews, autoethnography, legal case studies, and existing policy, contributors open up the conversation to illustrate sexual violence on campus as a structural, cultural, and complex social phenomenon. The diversity of methodologies sets this study apart: a problem as complex and far-reaching as rape culture must be approached from a multitude of angles.

Decades have passed since student advocates first called for “no means no” campaigns, but universities are still struggling to evolve. Violence Interrupted answers the call by bridging the gap between advocacy, research, and institutional change.” From Publisher’s Website.

Virtual Pedophilia: Sex Offender Profiling and U.S. Security Culture, by Gillian Harkins. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020.

“In Virtual Pedophilia Gillian Harkins traces how by the end of the twentieth century the pedophile as a social outcast evolved into its contemporary appearance as a virtually normal white male. The pedophile’s alleged racial and gender normativity was treated as an exception to dominant racialized modes of criminal or diagnostic profiling. The pedophile was instead profiled as a virtual figure, a potential threat made visible only when information was transformed into predictive image. The virtual pedophile was everywhere and nowhere, slipping through day-to-day life undetected until people learned how to arm themselves with the right combination of visually predictive information. Drawing on television, movies, and documentaries such as Law and Order: SVUTo Catch a PredatorMystic River, and Capturing the Friedmans, Harkins shows how diverse U.S. audiences have been conscripted and trained to be lay detectives who should always be on the lookout for the pedophile as virtual predator. In this way, the perceived threat of the pedophile legitimated increased surveillance and ramped-up legal strictures that expanded the security apparatus of the carceral state.” From Publisher’s Website.

Votes, Drugs, and Violence: The Political Logic of Criminal Wars in Mexico, by Guillermo Trejo and Sandra Ley. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2020.

“One of the most surprising developments in Mexico’s transition to democracy is the outbreak of criminal wars and large-scale criminal violence. Why did Mexican drug cartels go to war as the country transitioned away from one-party rule? And why have criminal wars proliferated as democracy has consolidated and elections have become more competitive subnationally? In Votes, Drugs, and Violence, Guillermo Trejo and Sandra Ley develop a political theory of criminal violence in weak democracies that elucidates how democratic politics and the fragmentation of power fundamentally shape cartels’ incentives for war and peace. Drawing on in-depth case studies and statistical analysis spanning more than two decades and multiple levels of government, Trejo and Ley show that electoral competition and partisan conflict were key drivers of the outbreak of Mexico’s crime wars, the intensification of violence, and the expansion of war and violence to the spheres of local politics and civil society.” From Publisher’s Website.

Walls, Cages and Family Separation, by Sophia Jordan Wallace and Chris Zepeda-Millan. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge Elements, 2020.

“US immigration policy has deeply racist roots. From his rhetoric to his policies, President Donald Trump has continued this tradition, most notoriously through his border wall, migrant family separation, and child detention measures. But who exactly supports these practices and what factors drive their opinions? Our research reveals that racial attitudes are fundamental to understanding who backs the president’s most punitive immigration policies. We find that whites who feel culturally threatened by Latinos, who harbor racially resentful sentiments, and who fear a future in which the United States will be a majority–minority country, are among the most likely to support Trump’s actions on immigration. We argue that while the President’s policies are unpopular with the majority of Americans, Trump has grounded his political agenda and 2020 reelection bid on his ability to politically mobilize the most racially conservative segment of whites who back his draconian immigration enforcement measures.” From Publisher’s Website.

We Still Here: Pandemic, Policing, Protest, and Possibility, by Marc Lamont Hill. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2020.

“The uprising of 2020 marked a new phase in the unfolding Movement for Black Lives. The brutal killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, and countless other injustices large and small, lit the spark of the largest protest movement in US history, a historic uprising against racism and the politics of disposability that the Covid-19 pandemic lays bare.

In his urgent and incisive new book We Still Here: Pandemic, Policing, Protest, and Possibility, Marc Lamont Hill critically examines the “pre-existing conditions” that have led us to this moment of crisis and upheaval, guiding us through both the perils and possibilities, and helping us imagine an abolitionist future.” From Publisher’s Website.

Weaponized Whiteness: The Constructions and Deconstructions of White Identity Politics, by Fran Shor.  Leiden, NETH; Boston: Brill, 2020.

“Weaponized Whiteness by Fran Shor interrogates the meanings and implications of white supremacy and, more specifically, white identity politics from historical and sociological perspectives. By analyzing the constructions and deconstructions of white identity politics throughout U.S. history and up through the present, these collected essays provide insight into the deep roots and resonances of white identity politics and the challenges that have emerged, in particular, since the 1960s.” From Publisher’s Website.

Women’s Criminality in Europe, 1600-1914, edited by Manon van der Heijden, Marion Pluskota and Sanne Muurling. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2020.

“Bringing together the most current research on the relationship between crime and gender in the West between 1600 and 1914, this authoritative volume places female criminality within its everyday context. It reveals how their socio-economic and cultural contexts provided women with ‘agency’ against a range of European backdrops, despite a fundamentally patriarchal criminal justice system, and includes in-depth analysis of original sources to show how changing living standards, employment, schooling and welfare arrangements had a direct impact on the quality of life of working-class women, their risk of becoming involved in crime and the likelihood of being prosecuted for it. Rather than treating women’s criminality as always exceptional, this study draws out the similarities between female and male criminality, demonstrating how an understanding of specific cultural and socio-economic contexts is essential to explain female criminality, both why their criminal patterns changed and how their crimes were represented by contemporaries.” From Publisher’s Website.

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