Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Country Called Prison: Mass Incarceration and the Making of a New Nation

Mary D. Looman  & John D. Carl (University of Oklahoma), A Country Called Prison: Mass Incarceration and the Making of a New Nation (Oxford Univ. Press 2015).

"In A Country Called Prison, Mary Looman and John Carl propose a paradigm shift in the way that American society views mass incarceration. Weaving together sociological and psychological principles, theories of political reform, and real-life stories from experiences working in prison and with at-risk families, Looman and Carl form a foundation of understanding to demonstrate that prison is more than an institution built of fences and policies - it is a culture. Prison continues well after incarceration, as ex-felons leave correctional facilities (and often return to impoverished neighborhoods) without money or legal identification of American citizenship. Trapped in the isolation of poverty, these legal aliens turn to illegal ways of providing for themselves and are often reimprisoned."
Publisher's description

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Stand by Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation

Jim Downs (Connecticut College), Stand By Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation (Basic Books 2016).

"In Stand by Me, the acclaimed historian Jim Downs rewrites the history of gay life in the 1970s, arguing that the decade was about much more than sex and marching in the streets. Drawing on a vast trove of untapped records at LGBT community centers in Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia, Downs tells moving, revelatory stories of gay people who stood together—as friends, fellow believers, and colleagues—to create a sense of community among people who felt alienated from mainstream American life."
 —Publisher's description

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

These Estimable Courts

Damon M. Cann (Utah State) & Jeff Yates (Binghamton University), These Estimable Courts (Oxford Univ. Press 2016).

"In These Estimable Courts, Damon M. Cann and Jeff Yates explore how citizens feel about the government institutions at the front lines of jurisprudential policy-making in America - our nation's state and local courts. The book's central focus concerns a primary question of governance: why do people support and find legitimate the institutions that govern their lives? Cann and Yates evaluate the factors that drive citizens' support for their state and local courts and that influence peoples' perceptions of the proper role of these courts in our society, as well as how judicial policy-making should be made." 
Publisher's description