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UWP Book Reviews - Fall 2004

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: January 8, 2004
Latest Update: December 15, 2004

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Site Teaching Modules UWP Book Reviews - Fall 2004

Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, September 2002.
"Fair use" encouraged.

* * * * *
Reviews grouped by course.
Student's review in green.
susan's commentaries in bright blue.

From CRMJ/SOCA 363: Corrections

On Sunday, November 28, 2004, Marie Cooper reviewed:
Bud, Not Buddy

This was a better book than I thought it would be. I was thinking about comparisons with the "Holes" book. This book is based on a 10 yr. old black boy. Stanley had issues with the correctional system. Bud was a product of having no parents and being in an orphanage. There were definitely issues with being in different foster homes and coming back to the orphanage. Really not enough screening for foster homes. The example being the Amos family. People were just taking thises kids in just to get money.

marie -- what does this book tell you about juvenile corrections?

On Tuesday, November 30, 2004, Greg Borst reviewed:
In the Belly of the Beast

The book In the Belly of the Beast by Jack Henry Abbott, which is comparable to Victor Hassine^“s book Life Without Parole, deals with the inmate perspective of corrections prior to the many changes made near the end of the civil rights movement. Depicted in a straightforward fashion, Abbott describes his experiences with criminal justice though his incarceration in juvenile detention centers and adult correctional facilities. His life consists of a constant struggle against abuse, fear, the idea of conformity, and the standards of American society.

greg -- good. thanks. i know we have discussed your review already.

On Tuesday, December 14, 2004, Kyla Cross reviewed:
Beyond Discipline

I read the book "Beyond Disilpine" by Alfie Kohn. It was interesting due to the fact that it explained different ways to correct people in their actions. It was based mainly on how to teach children a different way of dealing with certain situations. This can be incororated into Corrections because it shows how authorities can deal with situations and handle them differently and this may prevent some problems from happening. I would recommend this book for Criminal Justice students, due to what it deals with and can teach a person about the ways things can be solved in a better way.

kyla -- how does this book relate to correctional "theory, policy, and practice"?

From CRMJ/SOCA 365 Race, Crime & Law

On Tuesday, October 12, 2004, Kevin Gabbey reviewed:
No Equal Justice

In this book the author demonstrates that in every part of the criminal justice sytem, including sentencing, jury selections and police practices, there is ineqaulity and double standards. It is shown that these double standards result in the privilaged enjoying constituional protection while the underprivileged are without such privilages. There is hope though, as each case of injustice is fallowed by ways to repair these problems and move towards equality for all. This book is recomended for anyone studying race, crime and the criminal justice system.

kevin -- did you like the book? why.

On Tuesday, October 26, 2004, Andrea Jacobs reviewed:
Two Children's Books

For part of my creative measure I have looked at some children's literature. Two books that I have looked at and I thought were very well written were The Wishing Chair by Rick Dupre and Almost to Freedom by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. The Wishing Chair was about a boy that spends time with his grandmother who tells him stories of how African Americans were denied the right to vote and how for example Medgar Evers fought to make the laws more fair for African Americans and how he fought for equality. I thought this book related to what we have been talking about in class about some of the laws. The other book was about a girl who was escaping to freedom and it shows her struggles. I think it is important that children do learn about racial topics and children's literature is a good way to learn about more complicated topics.Children need to experience seeing themselves in books and learning about different cultures and experiences. I feel when you are reading or having children read books it is very important to find books that do not have stereotypes and that they are accurate.

andrea -- good ! children's literature is always fun to read.

On Wednesday, October 27, 2004, Andrea Jacobs reviewed:
Baseball Saved Us

I also just looked at another child's literature book. It is called Baseball Saved Us and it was written by Ken Mochizuki. This book tells a story about a Japanese boy that was in an Internment camp in 1943. It talks about the hardships and condition that he went through in the internment camp. The boy actually found comfort playing baseball when he was in the internment camp. Once he got out, he played baseball for his school and he had to deal with more problems and harsh treatment by the school children. This book overall would be o.k to read to children if you explained the history and treatment that the boy had to go through. Also you would have to explain certain stereotypes on how these stereotypes are hurtful and not true. I thought this book emphasized the stereotypes such as Japanese Americans are all short and that they are quiet and do not speak up. At the end of the book the only way he was accepted by his peers was because he hit a homerun.

andrea -- how does this relate to the documentary, "Without Due Process"?

On Thursday, October 28, 2004, Andrea Jacobs reviewed:
The First R

-- The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism by Debra Van Ausdale and Joe Feagin. In this book the authors conduct an ethnographic study with children in several day care settings. Their goal is to see if young children respond, create, and understand racial and ethnic concepts. Many adults have and still do believe children are passive and do not understand racial concepts. There findings were that children as young as three do interpret and use racial and ethnic concepts and throughout the book they give examples of situations. Children will continue to mirror adults concepts and actions dealing with race and racism. I recommend this book for people going into any profession dealing with children and those that are parents.

andrea -- next, relate this to the class readings?

On Friday, October 29, 2004, Katie MacCready reviewed:
No Contest

I read the book No Contest by Alfie Kohen. I really enjoyed the book. I can relatethebook alot to Fellman's book. They both take looking at both sides of things into perspective. I like this idea alot. If society took into play alot of what each of what both Kohen and Fellman write about the world might be a more peaceful place. I know changing everybodies way of thinking is hard to do completely. But it is important to try something new. Trying something new (a paradigm shift) can be very difficult and there is room for mistake. But isn't that what our class is based on. No right or wrong answer. Listening in good faith to the other. Learning form one another. If you never trying something new it is a bigger mistake then trying that new thing and messing up on your first try. It is important to try something out even if we make a mistake because that is all part of the learning process.

katie -- good. would you recommend this book? if so, to who?

On Sunday, November 7, 2004, Carley Huber reviewed:
No Contest

The book "No Contest" analyzed a number of different aspects of humans and competition. I found the opening chapter on the "human nature myth" interesting. It explored the inevitablity of competition, how different cultures view competition and particularly how American culture turns everything into competition, even with ourselves. The book explored competition in relationships, in business settings, sports, competition for fun, and the psychological side of our need and desire to compete and the anxiety it can cause. Kohn points out that competition can be productive and fuel individuals to work together to succeed. From reading this book there were two sides to every idea, exploring different ways to look at one main concept. My personal opinion after reading "No Contest" is that competition is can be bitter-sweet and mostly appears to be a "necessary-evil" in American society and globally. A major point that I wanted to relate to Fellman was what the book calls the "social change" of competition, structurally changing how society is built. Though Kohn points out that this is going to come with resistance and perhaps even be impossible it is worth trying; that reminds me a Fellman and making a paradigm shift to succeed and make society different, for the better.

carley -- why would such a paradigm shift be so difficult?

On Thursday, November 11, 2004, April Puryear reviewed:
Race Matters

"Race Matters" takes a thorough look at race relations and the racial divide that it has created in America. This is a very good book which addresses many issues such as Black nihilism, Black leadership, Affirmative Action, Black sexuality, Black rage, etc. Cornell West talks alot about the need for everyone to have empathy and compassion for one another. He also mentions the need for people to care about the quality of life and to address poverty concerns especially in the Black community. These things will help America grow and change as a nation. I would definitely recommend this book.

april -- how does this book relate to the course, more specifically to the readings?

On Sunday, November 15, 2004, Mona Mlejnek reviewed:
Driving While Black

I'm not sure if I should refer to this literature as being a book or a "how to" manual. I truly enjoyed reading "Driving While Black" by Kenneth Meeks. This book was rich with personal stories and anecdotes that not only made me, the reader interested, but also concerned. I have always believed that racial profiling exists within our police departments, however to what extent was the question. Kenneth Meeks focuses mailny on the New Jersey police department in the beginning of the book. What I find most beneficial about this book, however, is the wealth of information that is given in regards to the process of filing complaints. There are a great deal of phone numbers and addresses leading to the correct agencies and authorities that an individual would need to contact in the event that they have been discriminated against. It is obvious that Kenneth Meeks did his homework prior to writing this book. Kenneth Meeks also gives ideas of feasible solutions that could eliminate or at the very least lessen the act of racial profiling. Just a few ideas given are putting video surveillance cameras in police cruisers, making it mandatory for police stations to keep detailed documentation of stops made and most importantly holding officers guilty of police misconduct responsible for their actions. In closing, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who feels that they have been treated unfairly by law enforcement or any other government agency. Kenneth Meeks advocates taking a stand against discrimination, but only in the appropriate, professional manner that gets government officials attention.

mona -- good. now we can dialogue how this book relates to the course mateials?

On Monday, November 15, 2004, Andrea Berberich reviewed:
Black Like Me

I just finished the book "Black Like Me." Like I stated in our meeting I think this should be a required reading, because it really opens your eyes to the generation that did not personally live through the times of segregation and the struggle of the civil rights movements. Being white and reading this book gave me a much deeper insight to the daily persecution that the typical African American encountered on a daily basis. Basically, to sum up the book briefly a white journalist takes on the identity of a black man and travels thorugh the south recording the experiences he encounters that normally would not be so unpleasant if he were still white. I think Fellman would applaude the book for the fact that it gives better understanding of eachother and may open the door for communication, you are less likely to be scared of something once you understand it, or can try and put yourself in that situation. Kennedy, would see it as an example of his point of racial inequality, but I think he would even have to agree we have made some improvement since the days of segregation. Like I said I was a big fan of this book and think everyone could gain a new perspective from it. It was a good example of how a large group of people got together and supported and built alliances as a whole to fight for equal rights that they deserved just like the rest.

andrea -- good. but why would fellman and kennedy say these things?

On Sunday, November 28, 2004, Frank Conforti reviewed:
Black Like Me

yes i did read the book, i also sent you a book review. you must not have got it so here it is. Black Like Me. This book is very good, and interesting. It showed me what really went on in the south with the civil rights moments that were going on. He gave examples in the book that he let a white pregnant women sit down on the bus, he was black at the time he did this and he said that he could feel all of the other blacks staring at him because of what he did. I believe that the book also shows that the blacks have feelings too, because the people that wanted they to be slaves made it seem hat they did not. What I mean is the interaction he had with the black children made him think of his children. I was also amazed at how he thought that his senses would change. He thought that his sense of seem and taste would change because he became a black man. He gave one example that I never would have thought of; he said that his sweat felt the same as when he was white. In the end he says ^”how can men oppress other men if they know how to love, how to give to others.^‘ That made me think of Fellmen because he would have to agree with that. I would highly recommend this book.

frank -- thanks. i thought i had your review but i didn't. can you explain that ending quote?

On Sunday, November 28, 2004, Katie MacCready reviewed:
Race to Incarcerate

I am writing you my book review for the book Race to Incarcerate by Mark Mauer-my creative measure. I really enjpoyed the book and I would advise alot of students to take this class to read the book. I would also advise politicians to read this book. Reason being is because Mauer's book brings up alot of hot issue going on in our society today. Like high incaceration rates, war on drugs, and the large proportion of minorites in the criminal justce system. This are all issues that are important for people to work on changing. As for our text's in this cousre. I think Kennedy would like alot of what Mauer has to say about the high rates of minority groups in out CJS. I think Fellman would say that one way to solve some of the issues in this book is to listen to people. To help lower our incarcerate rate listen to people instead of just locking them up. Walker could use alot of the information written in this book for a future book of his. Both Walker and Mauer used alot of graphs and statistics in their books.

katie -- how do you get people to listen to mauer's perspective? what other comparisons can be made between this book and the Walker text?

On Monday, November 29, 2004, Andrea Jacobs reviewed:
Prison Writings

Prison Writings My Life is My Sun Dance Leonard Peltier edited by Harvey Arden This book is about the struggle Peltier has gone through over the years and it is about the hope he has and the struggle he keeps fighting for. Leonard Peltier has been wrongly confined for 24 years. He was convicted of killing two FBI agents during the "Battle of Oglala." I feel Peltier has many of the same views Fellman has about mutuality. Peltier believes the future has to be founded on respect for all and he talks a lot about forgiveness and hope. The book relates to Fellman based on how the government acted out in an adversarialism way when they raided the reservation. This book relates to Walker because Leonard adds to the statistics of the minority in crime. Also, this book relates to Kennedy because Leonard was treated unequal and had unequal protection. He was not treated fairly based on the evidence and also information was withheld from the trail. I would recommend this book to anyone especially those in this class.

andrea -- do you think there is a way to resolve this issue/case in a mutualistic fashion? why.

On Tuesday, November 30, 2004, Greg Borst reviewed:
The Simple Path

The book A Simple Path written by the Dalai Lama is centered on the principles of the Buddhist faith: non-violence and the interdependent nature of reality. Comprehensive and in depth, A Simple Path describes in detail the foundations of Buddhism: the Four Noble Truths, and their potential for human kind. As one of his highlights, the Dalai Lama attempts to convey his ideas on formalized religion and its potential for the world community.

greg -- good. thanks. we've already discussed this book and how it relates to the course.

On Wednesday, December 1, 2004, Chad Melby reviewed:
Years of Infamy

This is Chad Melby from race, crime, and law. Here is a book review for "Years of Infamy" by Michi Weglyn. "Years of Infamy is a book that goes into great detail about the events leading up to and during the evacuation and relocation of Japanese Americans during WW2. The author chronicles the years and events leading up to this with many showing the tension building between the two nations and how this effected the Japanese Americans who suffered. One thing that was unique about this book is all the official documents and newspaper articles the author presents in here to give the reader a good feel for the situation. I would recommend this book to anyone interested, its a little long but no parts drag too much.

chad -- why did you think this book was "a little long"? And yet, it didn't drag?.

On Wednesday, December 15, 2004, Samantha Collier reviewed:
Democracy Matters

Democracy matters , is mostly about the polictions and how our government doesn't really give americans the full story.Bush only tells america what he thinks we should know, not what we ought to know.Kennedy, and unequal treatment, protection from our givernment.

samantha -- i'm not sure about your point relating to kennedy?

On Wednesday, December 15, 2004, Shayla Malone reviewed:
No Disrespect

This book was an awesome book. It covered such topics on racial disparities in the inner cities and how these disparities affect the crime among African American men. This book into our politics saying how blacks always vote democratic. This book it mentions how there are more black males in prison than in college. I think that Kennedy and Walker would agree with this book especially Kennedy. I say especially Kennedy because just from some of the readigs how he looks at the crime and the police profiling, and racial conduct towards black males. As far as Fellman is like he want to live in an ideal society. In this book the author also mentioned other books that are worth reading and dealin with subjects on African Ameicans in this country, and yes I would recommend this book to anyone to read.

shayla -- okay. good, but next time send yoru review as an email message; not an attachment.