Full Reviews


Are Racists Crazy?: How Prejudice, Racism, And Antisemitism Became Markers Of Insanity

Authors: Sander L. Gilman and James M. Thomas
Publisher: New York University Press, 2016. 385p.
Reviewer: Mike W. Martin ǀ October 2017

How did racism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of bigotry come to be regarded as psychopathological; and should they be viewed as such? These two questions form the core of Sander Gilman and James M. Thomas’s Are Racists Crazy? How Prejudice, Racism, and Antisemitism Became Markers of Insanity. Our reviewer, Mike W. Martin, regards the book as “very important.” Gilman and Thomas’s historical treatment of the first question in particular, he says, is “masterful,” though he is somewhat less impressed with their treatment of the second, normative question.

Legal Insanity And The Brain: Science, Law And European Courts

Editors: Sofia Moratti & Dennis Patterson
Publisher: Oxford, UK; Portland, OR,Hart Publishing, 2016. 336p.
Reviewers: Michael L. Perlin & Alison J. Lynch | October 2017

From Deportation To Prison: The Politics Of Immigration Enforcement In Post-Civil Rights America

Author: Patrisia Macías-Rojas
Publisher: New York: New York University Press, 2016. 233p.
Reviewer: David Schultz | October 2017

The Globalization Of Childhood: The International Diffusion Of Norms And Law Against The Child Death Penalty

Author: Robyn Linde
Publisher: New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. 328p.
Reviewer: Mary Welek Atwell | October 2017

Locking Up Our Own: Crime And Punishment In Black America

Author: James Forman, Jr.
Publisher: New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017. 306p.
Reviewer: David Schultz | October 2017

Slavery At Sea: Terror, Sex, And Sickness In The Middle Passage

Author: Sowande’ M. Mustakeem
Publisher: Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2016. 288p.
Reviewer: Kenneth Morgan | October 2017

American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt For The Criminal Mastermind Behind The Silk Road

Author: Nick Bilton
Publisher: New York: Portfolio/Penguin Press, 2017. 352p.
Reviewer: Frederick T. Martens | October 2017

Islamophobia And Racism In America

Author: Erik Love
Publisher: New York University Press, 2017. 272 p.
Reviewer: Sabri Ciftci | October 2017

We unfortunately live in an age when the Nation of Islam and its followers are seen in a very negative light. Radical Islamists have caused all Muslims to be viewed with suspicion as being violent terrorists. Eric Love’s Islamophobia and Racism in America examines the racial dimensions of what he labels “Islamophobia” in the United States. Among the many important issues addressed in the book are the reductionist circumstance that Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian minorities have all been swept into one negative category (they are all potential terrorists) and been discriminated against accordingly. And second, this racial paradox and the resulting racial dilemma have, as pointed out by reviewer Sabri Ciftci, only been further exacerbated by the transition from earlier “race-conscious” policies to a supposedly more progressive “colorblind ideology.”

Roots Of African American Violence: Ethnocentrism, Cultural Diversity, And Racism

Authors: Darnell F. Hawkins, Jerome B. McKean, Norman A. White, and Christine Martin
Publisher: Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishing, 2017. 267p.
Reviewer: James Unnever | October 2017

Politics And History Of Violence And Crime In Central America

Editors: Sebastian Huhn and Hannes Warnecke-Berger
Publisher: New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. 330 p.
Reviewer: David Carey Jr. | October 2017

Big House On The Prairie: Rise Of The Rural Ghetto And Prison Proliferation

Author: John M. Eason
Publisher: Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017. 236p.
Reviewer: Larry Bennett | October 2017

Big House on the Prairie: Rise of the Rural Ghetto and Prison Proliferation by John Eason is an unusual “prison book” in that it does not focus on the prison itself, and its staff and inmates, but rather on the small town in which the prison is located. Eason’s is an ethnographic study, and according to our reviewer Larry Bennett, “the heart of this book is an explanation of how a local ‘growth coalition’ mounted a biracial effort to influence state and federal officials to bring the FCFCF [Forest City Federal Correctional Facility] to Forrest City, [Arkansas] and in turn, an analysis of the impact of the FCFCF.”

Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers And Mexico’s Most Dangerous Drug Cartel

Author: Dan Slater
Publisher: New York: Simon & Schuster, 2016. 368p.
Reviewer: Rashi K. Shukla | October 2017

Implied Consent And Sexual Assault; Intimate Relationships, Autonomy, And Voice

Author: Michael Plaxton
Publisher: Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2015. 280p.
Reviewer: Melanie Clark Mogavero | October 2017

The Law’s Flaws: Rethinking Trial And Errors?

Author: Larry Laudan
Publisher: London: College Publications, 2016. 228p.
Reviewer: Alec Walen | October 2017

Deserved Criminal Sentences: An Overview

Author: Andreas von Hirsch
Publisher: Oxford, UK: Portland,
OR: Hart Publishing, 2017. 192P.
Reviewer: Susan Dimock | October 2017

Andreas von Hirsch has long been recognized as one of the major modern expositors of retributive theory. In his new book, von Hirsch offers a kind of restatement of the desert model of punishment he has been developing over many years. Key to his theory is the notion of proportionality, the idea that punishment should be proportional to the seriousness of the crime committed. The book offers von Hirsch’s views on a range of issues crucial to the retributive project, including how to gauge punishments’ seriousness and penalties’ severity; what weight should be given to an offender’s previous convictions; and how non-custodial sentences should be scaled. Our reviewer, Susan Dimock, finds the book an “excellent presentation of desert theory,” whose critics, she says, “will have to respond to von Hirsch’s arguments.”

Dark Matters: On The Surveillance Of Blackness

Author: Simone Browne
Publisher: Durham, NC; London: Duke University Press, 2015. 213p.
Reviewer: Douglas Hartmann | October 2017


Speaking Truths To Power: Policy Ethnography And Police Reform In Bosnia And Herzegovina

Author: Jarrett Blaustein
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2015. 243p.
Reviewer: Amelia Padurariu | July 2017

Wrongful Convictions And The DNA Revolution: Twenty-Five Years Of Freeing The Innocent

Editor: Daniel Medwed
Publisher: Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2017. 407p.
Reviewer: Marvin Zalman | July 2017

The innocence movement in criminal justice that Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld created at Cardozo Law School is now a quarter century old. What have we learned during that period from the use of DNA technology that will allow us to remedy individual cases and prevent future errors? The nineteen essays that comprise this collection, edited by Daniel Medwed, offer a wide range of perspectives on this question, varying in their degree of optimism. According to our reviewer, Marvin Zalman, the “volume deserves a central place in the growing library of wrongful conviction scholarship.”

Access To Justice And Legal Aid: Comparative Perspectives On Unmet Legal Need

Editors: Asher Flynn and Jacqueline Hodgson
Publisher: Oxford, UK; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2017. 309p.
Reviewer: Douglas S. Eakeley | July 2017

American readers are well aware of the severe deficiencies in our system of (criminal) public defenders and (civil) legal aid. How have these institutions fared elsewhere within the English speaking world, for example, in England, Wales and Australia? A new collection of essays, edited by Asher Flynn and Jacqueline Hodgson, offers an answer: not well at all. According to our reviewer, Douglas Eakeley, a former chair of the Legal Services Corporation, “the book succeeds in its objective of demonstrating the critical value of legal aid, while leaving the reader somewhat pessimistic that the current governments in the United Kingdom and Australia will take heed.”

The New Criminal Justice Thinking

Editors: Sharon Dolovich and Alexandra Natapoff
Publisher: New York: New York University Press, 2017. 346p.
Reviewer: Jack E. Call | July 2017

The American criminal justice system is arguably at a crossroads. After decades of increased punitiveness in sentencing, police practices, drug policy, and the treatment of juveniles, among other areas – it is an appropriate time for reassessment. This volume, edited by Sharon Dolovich and Alexandra Natapoff, contains a collection of fourteen essays, and responses to those essays, reflecting a wide range of methodological approaches to thinking about the criminal justice system. Although our reviewer, Jack Call, found the overall quality of the book uneven, he singles out several of the contributions, discussed here, as particularly worthwhile.

The Age Of Deference: The Supreme Court, National Security, And The Constitutional Order

Author: David Rudenstine
Publisher: New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. 326p.
Reviewer: David Schultz | July 2017

Race, Riots, And The Police

Author: Howard Rahtz
Publisher: Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., 2016. 209p.
Reviewer: Brandon Turchan | July 2017

Double Crossed: The Failure Of Organised Crime Control

Author: Michael Woodiwiss
Publisher: London; Pluto Press; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017. 272p.
Reviewer: Frederick T. Martens | July 2017

Sex Trafficking In The United States: Theory, Research, Policy, And Practice

Author: Andrea J. Nichols
Publisher: New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2016. 324p.
Reviewer: Corinne Schwarz | July 2017

The Case For The Corporate Death Penalty: Restoring Law And Order On Wall Street

Authors: Mary Kreiner Ramirez and Steven A. Ramirez
Publisher: New York: New York University Press, 2017. 254p.
Reviewer: Gregg Barak | July 2017

The Handbook Of Gangs

Editors: Scott H. Decker and David C. Pyrooz
Publisher: Somerset, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2015. 575p.
Reviewer: James C. Howell | July 2017

Punishment and the History of Political Philosophy: From Classical Republicanism to the Crisis of Modern Criminal Justice

Author: Arthur Shuster
Publisher: Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016. 180p.
Reviewers: Megan Travers and Brandon Dulisse | July 2017

Punishment and the History of Political Philosophy by Arthur Shuster takes readers through a host of philosophies and philosophers with the goal of understanding the all-important moral underpinnings of criminal justice in general and of punishment specifically. Reviewers Megan Travers and Brandon Dulisse conclude that what they call a “philosophical mosaic is a great book for those looking for a modern spin on some of the most pivotal and foundational pieces that have shaped the criminal justice system and law today.”

Liberal Democracies And The Torture Of Their Citizens

Author: Cynthia Banham
Publisher: Oxford, UK; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2017. 251p.
Reviewer: John T. Parry | July 2017

Crime Prevention In The 21st Century: Insightful Approaches For Crime Prevention Initiatives

Editors: Benoit Leclerc and Ernesto
Publisher: New York: Springer, 2016. 396p.
Reviewer: Gloria Laycock | July 2017

Our reviewer of Crime Prevention in the 21st Century: Insightful Approaches for Crime Prevention Initiatives, edited by Benoit Leclerc and Ernesto Savona, is Gloria Laycock, a professor of the relatively new discipline of crime science. As that name implies, its focus is on bringing science, scientific methods, data, etc. into understanding crime and criminals so as to better prevent and control crime. Laycock assesses the Leclerc and Savona book as providing “some exciting illustrations of how various techniques might further the cause of crime prevention.” But as she rightly points out, “the task now is to implement and evaluate more of these potentially fruitful approaches and to contribute to what we know might work, where and how.”

Slave Against Slave: Plantation Violence In The Old South

Author: Jeff Forret
Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2015. 544p.
Reviewer: David Anderson | July 2017

The Palgrave Handbook Of Prison Tourism

Authors: Jacqueline Z. Wilson, Sarah Hodgkinson, Justin Piche, and Kevin Walby
Publisher: New York: Palgrave, 2017. 1051p.
Reviewer: Russ Immarigeon | July 2017

The Two Mafias: A Transatlantic History, 1888-2008

Author: Salvatore Lupo
Publisher: New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 236p.
Reviewer: Klaus von Lampe | July 2017

The debate about the transport of the “Italian Mafia” to “innocent” (of organized crime) American shores has continued among organized crime aficionados for decades. Salvatore Lupo’s The Two Mafias: A Transatlantic History, 1888-2008 is the latest to take on this debate. And according to our reviewer, Klaus von Lampe, Lupo has produced “a meticulous analysis of the historical record on the relationship between American and Sicilian mafiosi, and it is a profound critique of the academic debate of the past seven decades on the Mafia in the United States.”


Juvenile Offenders and Guns: Voices behind Gun Violence

Author: Diane Marano
Publisher: Basingstoke, UK; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 210p.
Reviewer: David Yamane | May 2017

Guns, gun crime, gun availability, and gun control tend to be perennially important topics. Author Diane Marano, in Juvenile Offenders and Guns: Voices behind Gun Violence, examines these topics through a microcosmic study of just 25 juvenile offenders in custodial facilities in New Jersey. Reviewer David Yamane points out that given “the book’s rich interview data and processual organization, there is so much in Juvenile Offenders and Guns that it is impossible for a reader not to get something out of it.”

Revisiting Moral Panics

Editors: Viviene E. Cree, Gary Clapton, and Mark Smith
Publisher: Bristol, UK: Policy Press (distributed in the U.S. by University of Chicago Press), 2016. 276p.
Reviewer: Emily Setty | May 2017

The Invisible Camorra: Neapolitan Crime Families across Europe

Author: Felia Allum
Publisher: Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2016. 288p.
Reviewer: Anita Lavorgna | May 2017

Ending Zero Tolerance: The Crisis of Absolute School Discipline

Author: Derek W. Black
Publisher: New York: New York University Press, 2016. 256p.
Reviewer: Todd A. DeMitchell | May 2017

Speaking Truth to Power: Confidential Informants and Police Investigations

Authors: Dean A. Dabney and Richard Tewksbury
Publisher: Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2016. 232p.
Reviewer: Jon M. Shane | May 2017

Carceral Fantasies: Cinema and Prison in Early Twentieth Century America

Author: Alison Griffiths
Publisher: New York: Columbia University Press, 2016. 472p.
Reviewer: Dawn K. Cecil | May 2017

While the City Sleeps: A History of Pistoleros, Policemen, and the Crime Beat in Buenos Aires before Perón

Author: Lila Caimari
Publisher: Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2017. 248p.
Reviewer: Michelle D. Bonner | May 2017

At a time of much public questioning of how police in the U.S. respond to confrontations with citizens (particularly African-Americans) and how they use force in these confrontations, it is enlightening to step back and view these sorts of issues in a very different time and place. In her book, While the City Sleeps: A History of Pistoleros, Policemen, and the Crime Beat in Buenos Aires before Perón, Lila Caimari takes up such issues as the role of police in society, and from whence the police derive their legitimacy to, among other things, use force and violence. Her setting is Buenos Aires in the 1920s and 1930s. Reviewer Michelle Bonner calls this an “eloquently written book.”

Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court

Author: Nicole Gonzales Van Cleve
Publisher: Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2016. 272p.
Reviewer: Dick Simpson | May 2017

Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court by Nicole Gonzales Van Cleve, is an ethnographic study of the Cook County, Illinois court system. Our reviewer, Dick Simpson, points out that Van Cleve spent 10 years working in this court system and investigating it, and thus she has had an insider’s front row seat in the court room, the jail, and the judge’s chambers. Most interestingly, says Simpson, “Van Cleve demonstrates, ‘[t]he criminal courts offer an elegant case to understand how professionals can “do racism” while “doing justice”.’

Five Families: the Rise, Decline and Resurgence of America’s Most Powerful Mafia Empires

Author: Selwyn Raab
Publisher: New York: St Martin’s Griffin, 2016. 816p.
Reviewer: Frederick T. Martens | May 2017

With respect to the subject of organized crime, it is a curious phenomenon that this has long been a topic of greater attention by journalists than by criminologists. But those particular journalists have often been accused by the latter of being more concerned with sensationalism and polemics than with theories and explanations supported by empirical data. Selwyn Raab has been a distinct and distinguished exception to this criticism – while covering the mafia for over 25 years at the New York Times for example. Five Families – The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America’s Most Powerful Mafia Empires was first published by Raab in 2005. This new edition, reviewed here, details the latest activities of America’s so-called Mafia families. Raab concludes that the previous gangs in Detroit, Cleveland, Kansas City, Miami and Los Angeles have “been virtually eliminated or weakened to the level of a handful of elderly ‘has-beens,’” but that the venerable and strongest families in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and other pockets of the Northeast have survived.

Women of the Street: How the Criminal Justice-Social Services Alliance Fails Women in Prostitution

Authors: Susan Dewey and Tonia St. Germain
Publisher: New York: New York University Press, 2017. 288p.
Reviewer: Sharon S. Oselin | May 2017

“This is perhaps the most insightful ethnographic book on women in the street-based sex trade published in some time.” Such is the opening of Sharon Oselin’s review of Women of the Street: How the Criminal Justice-Social Services Alliance Fails Women in Prostitution, by Susan Dewey and Tonia St. Germain. Dewey and St. Germain use participant observations, case files, and multiple interviews to document how a system ostensibly designed to help prostitutes – a system comprised of police officers, social workers, judges, counselors, treatment providers, and probation officers – actually fails in that endeavor, and indeed, often ends up making the prostitute victims’ lives worse rather than better.  

Impact: How Law Affects Behavior

Author: Lawrence M. Friedman
Publisher: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016. 336p.
Reviewer: Christopher Slobogin | May 2017

Cybercriminal Networks: Origin, Growth and Criminal Capabilities

Author: Rutger Leukfeldt
Publisher: The Hague, Eleven International Publishing, 2016. 230p.
Reviewer: Peter Grabosky | May 2017

Why Prison?

Editor: David Scott
Publisher: Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 408p.
Reviewer: H. Bennett Wilcox III | May 2017

Homicide in São Paulo: An Examination of Trends from 1960-2010

Author: Bruno Paes Manso
Publisher: New York: Springer, 2016. 189p.
Reviewer: Kimberly M. Pitts | May 2017

Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff

Author: Edward J. Balleisen
Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017. 496p.
Reviewer: David O. Friedrichs | May 2017

Contested Justice: The Politics and Practice of the International Criminal Court Interventions

Editors: Christian De Vos, Sara Kendall, and Carsten Stahn
Publisher: Cambridge, UK; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 526p.
Reviewer: Luke Moffett | May 2017


Allowing For Exceptions – A Theory Of Defences And Defeasibility In Law

Author: Luís Duarte d’Almeida
Publisher: Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2015. 320p.
Reviewer: Kyriakos N. Kotsoglou | March 2017

Lawyers and judges are used to dealing with exceptions in the law. For example, the law says that people ought not to kill human beings . . . except when they are defending themselves, or others, or possibly a dwelling. But how exactly do we explain the phenomenon of exceptions in the law in theory? This is what author Luís Duarte d’Almeida seeks to do in his sophisticated new account of "defeasibility in law.” Our reviewer Kyriakos N. Kotsoglou finds his effort a "challenging book, argued with clarity and rigor."

The New Deportations Delirium: Interdisciplinary Responses

Editors: Daniel Kanstroom and M. Brinton Lykes
Publisher: New York: New York University Press, 2015.
Reviewers: Sarah Flinn and Cesar Cuauhtemoc Garcia Hernandez | March 2017

Keeping with the timely theme of immigration in its various aspects, The New Deportations Delirium: Interdisciplinary Responses (Daniel Kanstroom and M. Brinton Lykes eds., NYU Press 2015), seeks to address two principal research and policy questions: How does deportation affect individuals, families, and communities? And, what is the best approach to respond to the challenges presented by unauthorized migrants? Kanstroom and Lykes have brought together a diverse group of contributors – lawyers, judges, social workers, academic researchers, clinical and community psychologists, educators, community activists, and a filmmaker to address these questions from their varied points of view and experiences. The result, according to reviewers Sarah Flinn and César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, is a critique of current immigration practices, and a model for professionals to rely on in the fight to incorporate important human rights into our immigration system.

Dreams And Nightmares: Immigration Policy, Youth, And Families

Authors: Marjorie S. Zatz and Nancy Rodriguez
Publisher: Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2015. 216p.
Reviewer: Susan Bibler Coutin | March 2017

Another “hot topic” in both the news and the research literature is immigration. Marjorie Zatz and Nancy Rodriquez examine this issue in Dreams and Nightmares: Immigration Policy, Youth, and Families. In particular, these authors look at the role of prosecutorial discretion in immigration policy-making, which they argue has assumed greater importance in the absence of comprehensive immigration reform. Susan Coutin concludes in her review that, “[a]ll in all, Dreams and Nightmares presents a compelling analysis of U.S. policies regarding child migrants, and should be read now, as these policies are coming under renewed scrutiny in the Trump administration.”

Gendered Asylum – Race And Violence In U.S. Law And Politics

Author: Sara L. McKinnon
Publisher: Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2016. 165p.
Reviewer:  Lindsay M. Harris | March 2017

Yet another timely take on the enormously complex problem of migration and immigration is Sara McKinnon’s Gendered Asylum – Race and Violence in U.S. Law and Politics. It is reviewed for us by Lindsay M. Harris. McKinnon examines decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals and of the federal Circuit Courts of Appeal rendered between the late 1980s and 2012, as part of an analysis of U.S. case law surrounding political asylum. Harris says that McKinnon highlights “how U.S. adjudicators ‘otherize’ gender-based violence and overlay a racial component to the harm that women asylum seekers have endured.” This is seemingly done “to position the United States as a place free of gender-based violence, and further, as a global moral authority on women’s human rights.”

Courting Death: The Supreme Court And Capital Punishment

Authors: Carol S. Steiker and Jordan M. Steiker
Publisher: Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016. 390 pp.
Reviewer: Michael L. Radelet | March 2017

Courts and public officials have often claimed that the death penalty in America is reserved for the "worst of the worst" among criminal offenders. In reality, "the best predictor of who ends up on our gurneys is often the defendant with the worst attorneys, those with white and/or female victims, or perhaps the defendants who just had plain old bad luck." In their new book, authors Carol Steiker and Jordan Steiker offer an analysis of the long and winding jurisprudence of the death penalty. Our reviewer Michael Radelet found the work "important" and "useful," among the "top handful" of books or articles on the subject in recent years.

Trafficked Children And Youth In The United States: Reimagining Survivors

Author: Elżbieta M. Goździak
Publisher: New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2016. 182p.
Reviewer: Corinne Schwarz | March 2017

Human trafficking in general and trafficking in children in particular have become very high profile issues over the last decade and a half, since the adoption of UN protocols on human trafficking and smuggling, and the U.S. adoption of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 2000. The volume of research and writing on these issues has increased commensurate with the increased interest. One of the critical contributors to the research is Elżbieta M. Goździak. Her latest book is Trafficked Children and Youth in the United States: Reimagining Survivors. In it, she challenges some of the media sensationalism and mythmaking that has come to surround these topics. Our reviewer, Corinne Schwarz, says that, “[r]ather than relying upon tropes that fuel media depictions of trafficking or certain sectors of service provision, Goździak clearly shows the complex reality of migrant youth facing exploitation and trafficking in the United States.”

‘Eat The Heart Of The Infidel’: The Harrowing Of Nigeria And The Rise Of Boko Haram

Author: Andrew Walker
Publisher: London: C. Hurst & Co., 2016. 264p.
Reviewer: Issac Kfir | March 2017

In The Heat Of The Summer: The New York Riots Of 1964 And The War On Crime

Author: Michael W. Flamm
Publisher: Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017. 368p.
Reviewer: Jerald Podair | March 2017

Sex Offenders, Stigma, And Social Control

Author: Diana Rickard
Publisher: New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2016. 216p.
Reviewer: Richard Tewksbury | March 2017

Dark Tourism And Crime

Author: Derek Dalton
Publisher: London: Routledge, 2015. 216p.
Reviewer: Kevin Walby | March 2017

Criminal Law; A Comparative Approach

Authors: Markus D. Dubber, Tatjana Hörnle
Publisher: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. 671 p.
Reviewer: Stephen C. Thaman | March 2017

Murder And The Making Of English CSI

Authors: Ian Burney and Neil Pemberton
Publisher: Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016. 235p.
Reviewer: Anne Crowther | March 2017

Sex Workers, Psychics, And Numbers Runners: Black Women In New York City’s Underground Economy

Author: LaShawn Harris
Publisher:  Urbana-Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2016. 280p.
Reviewer: Kyria Brown | March 2017

Ignorance Of Law: A Philosophical Inquiry

Author: Douglas Husak
Publisher: Oxford, UK; New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. 320p.
Reviewer: Stephen Bero | March 2017

When should ignorance of the law be an excuse? Contrary to what one might assume from hoary legal maxims and law school hornbooks, Douglas Husak argues that ignorance of the law is nearly always at least a partial excuse. According to Husak, we are responsible for our misconduct only when we choose to disregard moral reasons against acting in the way we do, including such moral reasons as the law itself. Our reviewer Stephen Bero found Husak’s book “radical and provocative,” “theoretically ambitious,” and “densely argued.”

Windows Into The Soul: Surveillance And Society In An Age Of High Technology

Author: Gary T. Marx
Publisher: Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016. 404p.
Reviewer: Peter Grabosky | March 2017

Criminal Justice At The Crossroads: Transforming Crime And Punishment

Author: William R. Kelly
Publisher: New York: Columbia University Press, 2015. 424p.
Reviewer: Rebecca Kunkel | March 2017

Crimes Of Terror: The Legal And Political Implications Of Federal Terrorism Prosecutions

Author: Wadie E. Said
Publisher: New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. 224p.
Reviewer: Brian Forst | March 2017



Editors: Daniel Ziegler, Marco Gerster, and Steffen Krämer
Publisher: Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 263p.
Reviewer: Jared Del Rosso | January 2017


Author: Jennifer Murphy
Publisher: Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2015. 221p.
Reviewer: Tracy Lightcap | January 2017


Author: Elizabeth Hinton
Publisher:  Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 2016.  464p.
Reviewer:  Hadar Aviram | January 2017

Like the books of Marie Gottschalk and Naomi Murakawa – each of which has been reviewed in this venue – Elizabeth Hinton’s From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America, examines the roots and history of mass incarceration. Hinton’s premise and approach are quite similar to Murakawa’s in particular. The overarching theme is one of a misguided set of policies allegedly intended to reduce and control crime, but which had the underlying or unstated goal of controlling Black folks, particularly those who lived in the inner cities.  Our reviewer Hadar Aviram says Hinton “provides a probing view into the less investigated aspects of the birth of mass incarceration, getting at its very root, and offering all of us, regardless of our political orientation, a valuable and important mirror for uncomfortable and essential self-reflection.”


Author: Mary Kreiner Ramirez and Steven A. Ramirez
Publisher: New York, NY: New York University Press, 2017. 254p.
Reviewer: Gregg Barak | January 2017


Author: Nicole Rafter
Publisher: New York: New York University Press, 2016. 299p.
Reviewer: David O. Friedrichs | January 2017


Author: Heather Ann Thompson
Publisher: New York: Pantheon, 2016. 724p.
Reviewer: Russ Immarigeon | January 2017

Over five days in September 1971, some 1300 prison inmates in upstate New York held prison employees hostage while they negotiated with state officials over a list of demands. Governor Nelson Rockefeller then ordered state police, National Guard and correctional officers to storm the prison and retake it.  That retaking resulted in some 40 deaths.   Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy by Heather Ann Thompson tells this gripping story.  A University of Michigan historian, Thompson bases her 700+ page account on archival research and face-to-face interviews.  Reviewer Russ Immarigeon calls the book “a broadly-covered, intricately-detailed account of the `Attica prison uprising.’” But, he also calls Thompson’s conclusions “tepid.”


Editor: Richard Ward
Publisher: New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 313p.
Reviewer: Michael Meranze | January 2017


Author: Bradley Campbell
Publisher: Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2015. 272p.
Reviewer: William R. Pruitt | January 2017


Author: Janine Janssen
Publisher: The Hague: Eleven International Publishing, 2015. 140p.
Reviewer: Wendy Aujla | January 2017

Comparative Executive Clemency: The Constitutional Pardon Power and the Prerogative of Mercy in Global Perspective

Author: Andrew Novak
Publisher: New York, NY: Routledge, 2016. 198 pp.
Reviewer: Mark Osler | January 2017


Author: Robert Weldon Whalen
Publisher: Bronx, NY: Fordham University Press, 2016. 288p.
Reviewer: Frederick T. Martens | January 2017


Author: Robert Vargas
Publisher: New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. 264p.
Reviewer: James C. Howell | January 2017


Author: Adrian James
Publisher: Bristol: Policy Press, 2016. 172p.
Reviewer: Colin Atkinson | January 2017


Author: Joachim J. Savelsberg
Publisher: Oakland: University of California Press, 2015. 341p.
Reviewer: Nicole Fox | January 2017


Author: Michael Plaxton
Publisher: Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2015. 280p.
Reviewer: Melanie Clark Mogavero | January 2017


Author: Jason De León
Publisher: Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2015. 384p.
Reviewer: Susan Bibler Coutin | January 2017


Author: Eli Lederman
Publisher: Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016. 488p.
Reviewer: Geraldine Szott Moohr | January 2017

What role should the criminal law play in regulating the flow of information in an open society like that of the United States? Eli Lederman surveys a wide range of information-related crimes, including common law crimes like peeping and trespassing, and newer offenses such as misappropriating trade secrets, sexting, and data mining. Our reviewer, Gerry Moohr, found his book “comprehensively researched” and “accessible,” offering a “new and different way of thinking about information and the crimes that protect it.”


Author: Nicola Lacey
Publisher: London; New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. 200p.
Reviewer: Arlie Loughnan | January 2017

What role should an offender’s character play in determining his or her liability for criminal conduct? Nicola Lacey argues that character is not, as is often assumed, a relic of pre-20th century criminal law, but rather, a still-relevant factor in determining how criminal responsibility should be attributed. Employing a “critical” socio-historical methodology, Lacey offers a kind of summing-up of her recent work in criminal law theory. Our reviewer, Arlie Loughnan, found it an “elegant synthesis and instructive further extension of Lacey’s distinctive intervention into the field.”


Editors: Nicholas Tsagourias and Russell Buchan
Publisher: Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015. 552p.
Reviewer: Peter Grabosky | January 2017


Author: Kevin D. Lam
Publisher: New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 187p.
Reviewer: Phelan Wyrick | January, 2017


Author: Rashad Shabazz
Publisher: Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2015. 184p.
Reviewer: Laurie Schaffner | January 2017


Author: Lionel S. Lewis
Publisher: Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2016. 397p.
Reviewer: Denis Collins | January 2017

“How can a Wall Street investment firm get away with operating a Ponzi scheme for at least 20 years, and possibly as long as 40 years, without detection?”  This is the question posed by reviewer Denis Collins and addressed by author Lionel S. Lewis in Bernard Madoff and His Accomplices: Anatomy of a Con.  How big was the con?  About $65 billion, with about $18 billion being actual money invested by 4,800 investors – “the largest financial fraud in United States history.”  Lewis relied on actual transcripts and testimony as his quite voluminous information sources for his book.  Just one of the many intriguing questions arising from this case and its telling is whether the court’s sentencing of 71-year old Bernard Madoff to 150 years in prison constitutes “just deserts”?

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