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UWP Book Reviews - Spring 2005

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
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Created: January 8, 2004
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Site Teaching Modules UWP Book Reviews - Spring 2005

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 352: Law and Social Change

On Friday, January 28, 2005, Dawn Denny reviewed:
Who Moved My Cheese?

I loved this book! I think it relates to law and social change because Laws do change, I think mostly because of social changes. Laws need to fine "new cheese" to fit what social changes are occuring. Also socially, I think we change often, so if we all could look ahead and expect change, it would a much easier process for us to do, instead of fighting it. Look for our social cheese to move and where it is going. yes I would recommend this book, because it did change my whole thought process. Instead of looking at things in my persoanl life that changed as failures, I now see that they have brought positive, exciting results. Strange how such a simple book can make such a huge impact on the way I will now see things.I think everyone should read this book!

dawn -- yes, the message is simple yet very powerful.

On Sunday, February 6, 2005, Jamie Dieter reviewed:
Who Moved My Cheese?

I have read the book "Who Moved My Cheese?". When I fisrt picked up the book, I didnt think that a book this thin could have such a deep message!! I really enjoyed reading it. I think that for along time in my life and the decisions that I have made I have been more like Hem, fearing change and what it would bring. But I have been trying to find my cheese!! I think that one of the best messages in this book is "It is safer to serach in a maze, than remain in a cheeseless situation".I highly suggest reading this book and putting your life into the story that it tells. Everybody can become Haw no matter what your cheese is!

jamie -- why is it that we think a "little book" doesn't have a deep message? also, think about how the theories in the arrigo book apply here.

On Wednesday, February 9, 2005, Kristen Appelhans reviewed:
Who Moved My Cheese?

I am doing a book review on "Who Stole my Cheese." I liked this book because it was fast easy reading with a really positive message. I found that it related to this class because having a goal of finding "new cheese" is a really big change. Like the book says, it is realy easy to get comfortable just eating your old cheese but eventually it gets moldy. You have to move on and find new cheese because that is how you live a positive and fufilling life. Just the reason for Law and Social Change, our lives all change and the world changes and therefore we need to have new cheese to work for or things would be awfully boring and probably eventually life threatening.

kristen -- which character in the book are you most like? why.

On Monday, February 28, 2005, Kristine Kenny reviewed:
Who Moved My Cheese?

Yes this is my book review. I think that the character that I identify with the most is Haw. I say this because I do hesitate when it comes to change. I really honestly complain more about a problem without trying to resolve it for a while before actually confronting the problem and reality. It is when I feel that I have no other options than to change that I do. And when I experience that change, it may not be as bad as had thought, actually better than I thought. I then kind of kick myself in the butt for not doing it sooner.

kristine -- why do you initially resist change?

On Wednesday, March 2, 2005, Ann Drechsler reviewed:
Who Moved My Cheese?

I think the book relates to this course by using the very word that is in the name of the course Change. This book helps look at change and how you can imbrace it or fight it. I think I may be little like hem and hau who really don't want to change but end up, going for it, finding out its not so bad. The book who moved my cheese. I liked it alot. I read it on the plane and a gentlmen next to me had read it for one of his mba classes years ago. It wasn't what I had expected. I was surprised that it could be applied outside the business world, and wasn't just directed towards the criminal justice world. Learning to cope with change is a huge day to day helper. i hope that I remember the story and the characters' lessons through out my life and especially now whent I am moving towards newer and bigger cheese.

ann -- which theory in the arrigo book best applies here? why.

On Tuesday, March 8, 2005, Crystal Contreras reviewed:
Who Moved My Cheese?

The book which i read was Who Moved My Cheese, this book was a very intresting book. Not only did this book change my perspective on change but it made me realize that i need to adapt to change faster because change is all around us. I related more to the character of Haw, mainly because even though at first Haw was scared of change he quickly adapted to finding new "cheese" and then found out that change leads to new bigger and better cheese. I feel that the prophetic criticism theory best relates to this book because the people and mice are responsible for themselves and improving themselves. I really liked that a cute story has helped me realize what can happen if people never want to improve themselves.

crystal -- can you elaborate more on why you selected this theory?

On Friday, March 11, 2005, Pamela Cozad reviewed:
Who Moved My Cheese?

The book "Who Moved My Cheese" holds a very powerful message. I think it is a great book and would suggest anybody to read it. I think it relates to law and social change because laws in our society change, whether we want them to or not. We can sit there and complain about, or we can get motivated and find our "new cheese." You won't become successful if you don't search for the new cheese. I was kind of embarrassed to find myself being more like Hem in the book. Now that I've read the book I can correct my habit of staying with the old cheese, and begin looking for the new.

pamela -- which theory from arrigo best applies? why.

On Thursday, March 31, 2005, Natalia Martinez reviewed:
Who Moved My Cheese?

"Who Moved My Cheese" is a short book about the abilty for people to change or people not having the same ability. Even though Sniff and Scurry were shown to be not so smart, they were able to adapt to change easily, and therefore, survive. However, Hem and Hew, the smart mice, were not able to adapt so easily so they suffered. Eventually, Hem was able to change but not Haw. We, the readers, never really know what happened to Haw; we don't know if he survived. Because Law and Social Change relates to the novel because people need to be able to adapt to change. Currently, our criminal justice system is not working so well, because of all the prisions we keep building. We need to figure something else out... change is needed in our criminal justice system. We need to use critical thinking- keep our minds more open.. Definately would recommend this novel to anyone who has not read it yet. It is a very eye opening book and can relate to many things from the workplace to our own Criminal Justice System. Everyone should read this book.

natalia -- which character do you identify most with? why.

On Thursday, March 31, 2005, Al Adams reviewed:
Who Moved My Cheese?

This is a simple story of four characters that live in a maze and are constantly looking for cheese. Two of the four characters are Hem and Haw, they are complex people like humans. The two others are Sniff and scurry, they are like mice. They rely more on instinct and they are do not get hung up emotionally when things work against them. My cheese to me is finishing school to become a doctor. I would say that my personality is like Sniff or Scurry, I try not to let things bother me too much.

al -- relate this to the course, "law and social change." can you relate this book to one of the theories in the arrigo book? .

On Tuesday, April 5, 2005, Andy Stein reviewed:
Who Moved My Cheese?

this book covers a broad spectrum of social issues. it focuses mainly on progressive thought and adaptation to your environment. this book is directly linked to our course because it teaches that change happens in our society and one has to be ready to change with that environment. constitutive criminiology would best apply to this story. especially when you look at hem and haw. after they had discovered the cheese in area C they became accustomed to what they had. they expected it because they thought they deserved it for some reason. when it was gone, they had no idea what to do. haw would probably be the character that i would relate the most too. after the cheese disapeared he didnt want to deal with the consequences and turned a blind eye to the problem. ive done that more than once. but in the long run he realizes the cheese will not come to him, instead he has to move to the cheese. i've learned through the years that if you want something you have to go and get it. seize the day.

andy -- can you expand on why constitutive criminology best fits this book?

On Monday, April 11, 2005, Laura Brehm reviewed:
Who Moved My Cheese?

While reading Who Moved My Cheese I made an analogy with the statement "When you stop being afraid, you feel good." You could relate this statement "When you stop racism you feel good." to Law and Social change. Alot of Marx's economic theory from the Arrigo book relates to the assumptions about human nature and how people behave and how social change also ties in when one person says change is a bad idea others say the same. This is called human nature.

laura -- can you strengthen your argument for marxist crim?

On Thursday, February 3, 2005, Jamie Thomas reviewed:
Driving While Black

The book driving while Black written by Kenneth Meeks relates to our class because it focuses on racial profiling and we discussed how years ago there was no such thing as racial profiling but do to the society changing this law has come into affect. I enjoyed the book it was interesting to hear the stories of these people that were profiled and some of the stories sounded familiar to some of my friend's stories. The strenghths of this book is the advice that it gives on how to handle these situations if any of them happen to you. I really don't feel that there are any weaknesses because the book is very informative but not so that its boring. I would definately recommend this book for anyone to read. It not only talks about racial profiling but about everyone's rights and it explains all of our rights and i think that is something that everyone should know.

jamie -- as we go through the theories in the arrigo book, think about how these theories apply to the Meek's book.

On Monday, March 7, 2005, Lindsay Weinstein reviewed:
Driving While Black

In Driving While Black, Kenneth Meeks explains what a widespread problem racial profiling is. He discusses how profiling is often used by officers as a tool, yet it's when the "racial aspect" is added that problems arise. He explains how important it is to know your rights and what to do if you are a victim of racial profiling. He emphasizes the importance of being proactive to try and avoid such situations. I feel that this book relates to law and social change in regards to the large presence racial profiling has in society, regardless of laws like Title VI. While reading this book, different theories we discussed in class came to mind, specifically, Critical Race Theory. Meeks shows that race does matter, not only on the road, but in shopping malls, airports and even just walking in the park. I recommend this book to everyone, as it is very informative and educational to society as a whole.

lindsay -- why CRT?

On Friday, April 8, 2005, Ann Drechsler reviewed:
Driving While Black

I read the book driving while black by Kenneth meeks. The book's view on being black and not only driving but taking other forms of transportation, and just living as african american, would relate to the anarchists theory. The way that the racial profiling was used seems to some that the present political system should be removed and either try a new system or leave it up to the public. The book went into what to do it profiled and stopped by an officer, I thought this was good as well as the different expeirences shared in the book.

ann -- any other arguments for anarchist crim? and which theory from arrigo least applies? why.

On Friday, February 4, 2005, Kristen Appelhans reviewed:
Lethal Intent

The book I just finished reading is called Lethal Intent by: Sue Russell. It is actually the true story of the notorious serial killer Aileen Wuornos. The book was very good and it kept my intrest the whole way through. What caught my eye for this book review was when in the end the police are investigating the crimes and they are having a chapter long discussion about how the typical serial killer is a middle aged white male. That is what they were looking for and they were way off. They said that the reason serial killers typically fit this discription is because of two reasons, Power and Sex. They gave the idea that when a middle aged white male feels that he has no power or control over his life he is much more likley to act out on this because in societies eyes, he should be the one with the most power and control in every situation across genders and races. The sex part comes in because typically they wil involve sex or sexual thoughts into their murders because it is one thing they can control and is easier to make weaker individuals "obey" the killer with this involved.

kristen -- how does this book relate to "law and social change" ? also as we go through the varioius theories in the arrigo book, think about how these theories apply.

On Friday, February 4, 2005, Jessica Kwapil reviewed:
A Child Called It

I have just finished reading " A Child Called It". This story is about a little boy named David who is brutally beaten by his alcoholic mother from the age of four/five to about twelve. This was the worst case of child abuse ever recorded in California in 1973. In 1972 (a year prior to David's rescue) the Parent Child abuse of America was formed, which is probably one of the reasons for his rescue, prior to 1973 people did not interfere in other peoples domestic issues. It was harder back then to pierce the veil of privacy. Back when David was abused people did not want to accept child abuse, even though many people in his school knew that he was being abused no one said anything and when teachers called the house to talk to his mother, the teachers soon realized that it was not a good idea to interfere because the next day David's bruises would appear to be worse. David now is a world known speaker and an author of about four other books. I would recommend this book to someone who wants to realize the harsh existence of child abuse and hear about this child struggle to survive.

jessica -- as we go through the arrigo book, think about which theory best applies and why.

On Friday, March 4, 2005, Dina Varnes reviewed:
A Child Called It

I read the book "A child called it". It was disturbing in the fact of all the horrible things his mother did to him and how no one intervened; it took a lot of years for that to happen. He is inspiring to many people he made a comment on how he only lived 1/4 of his life being abused and he still has much more life ahead of him. Instead of being angry and sad and carry on the abuse cycle he let it go. That refers to the prophetic theory and critical race theory; he is responible for the way he is now as an adult and does not blame anyone for what happened to him. He is not playing the poor me game. Where everyone thinks that they deserve something because of something that happened to them; eventhough most people couldn't do anything about it, but yet we still all pay.

dina -- why did you select this book to read? can you clarify why these two theories from the arrigo book?

On Friday, April 22, 2005, Pamela Cozad reviewed:
A Child Called It

The book "A Child Called It" is a story written by David Pelzer. He writes about his horrible experience of being abused by his mother as a boy until his rescue in 1973. This was documented as one of the worst child abuse cases in the history of the United States. He was treated as an outcast and a slave in his family. I think this book relates to Arrigo's Prophetic Criticism because the boy was not able to "live" in society. Because of his condition he was treated like and outcast anywhere he went. He wasn't able to be a 'human-being' until he was finally rescued.

pamela -- if we had more time to dialogue, i would ask: can you strengthen your stance on prophetic criticism?

On Friday, February 18, 2005, Dawn Denny reviewed:
Dear Senator

I read the book Dear Senator A Memoir by the daughter of Strom Thurmond written by Essie Mae Washington-Williams and William Stadiem.

I do recomend this book, it was very interesting and also gives insight to the feelings of the children who were born by a black mother working for or should say being slaves to white men. She explains how she felt through out all of these years not being recognized as part of the family. I had mixed feelings with why Strom Thurmond would give her envelopes of money. I don't know if he was doing this because he was taking financial responsibility for her, even though he wasn't there emotionally for her, or was it hush money even though he never told her that it was. He was very generous finacially, and also would meet with her secretly, but never really showed her any emotion, never said he loved her, or called her his daughter, and she called him sir. I think it relates to law and social change in the way that back then there was slaves, and it was accepted. In the deep south black treatment stayed awful even after the slaves were no longer slaves. They still had to sit at the back of the bus, had different bathrooms, water fountains, they were still very much segregated. We have socially changed this, and I think we are working towards equal oppurtunities in the world. This book showed me how far we have come as a nation, and also lets me see how much further we need to come. I may add also that he did put his daughter through college, but it was a segregated one. He was very much against segregation, that is one of the major reason's why I choose to read this book, to try to understand how someone who thought negros as he put it needed to be in a different place than the whites.

dawn -- how does this book relate to chapter 6 on white privilege? also which of the theories in the arrigo book best applies to this book? why.

On Sunday, February 20, 2005, Jamie Thomas reviewed:
The Sixteenth Round

The autobiography of Rubin the Hurricane Carter called the sixteenth round was a very powerful book. He told the story of a very racist era and it appalled me that people could actually treat other human beings that way. He discussed how the criminal justice system was made to keep the black man in the system. The jails were segregated and whites were treated much better than blacks no matter what there crime was. Racial profiling came to my mind because if a black man and a white man were to commit the same crime the black man would be the one to go to jail. He talked about how unfair the system was and how they tried to keep them down by making them harder when the got out then when they were first apprehended. He said there was no rehab just punishment and he said that he wanted to change the system. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know how the system really worked back then and anyone who believes that racism never existed.

jamie -- which of the theories in the arrigo book best applies to this book? why.

On Thursday, March 3, 2005, Christine Riggs reviewed:
Crime and Punishment in America

The following is my book review for "Crime and Punishment in America: Why the Solutions to America's Most Stubborn Social Crisis Have Not Worked - and What Will" by Elliot Currie The book "Crime and Punishment in America" starts out with a critical assessment of the current criminal justice system in place in the United States today. It examines why it is not working and takes on the myths of why people think it does work. The author goes in dept with each of the reasons those who defended the status quo criminal justice system say we need a system like this and expose the fallacies in their argument. These ultimately being "we're too soft on criminals", "judges are too liberal", and "prisons work". The book then goes on to discuss what the author believes our the best ways to turn the system around: prevention, social action, and a restructuring of the criminal justice system. This book follows very similar ideals that Gilligan talks about in his book, "Preventing Violence" (for those of you who are in Dennis Rome's class). I highly suggest "Crime and Punishment in America" to anybody, especially those who are intrigued by Gilligan's book.

christine -- which ideas do you agree with? which ones do you disagree with? which of the theories in the arrigo book best applies to this book? why.

On Monday, March 7, 2005, Ericka Dobson reviewed:
Prison Writing

I have a deeper understanding for the repression of the indian people. I believe Leonard Peltier is a victim in the process of injustice. Leonard Peltier was an avid AIM activist and a target for the government.Leonard states that from his youth he has been a target and he and his people will continue to be a target untill something is changed. We can not just isolate these people in the USA where we are all free and equal but, are we really? No we are not espically when we have certain guidelines and rules that are seperate from the rest of america for these people. The reservation's are a holding cell to maintain the indian people and make sure they do not spread but, when the land has valuables like minearls or oil they are all to soon to send them to the cities to be come urban indians.When these people become to knowledgable they are hushed or murdered. Leonard Peltier's book derfinately let me see a differnet perspective of what is going on. Some times it take some one else's story to really let you see the truth.

ericka -- which of the theories in the arrigo book best applies to this book?which theory least applies? why.

On Wednesday, March 9, 2005, Jamie Thomas reviewed:
Mothers in Prison

I read the book Mothers in Prison by Phyllis Jo Baunach. This book relates to our class topic of social feminism. The book talks about how women have been exploited into9 committing crimes. The book has a lot of information and statistics. It talks about the women's backgrounds and criminal history. It also talks about how these women being locked up affect the lives of their children. I would say the main weakness is that they give so much information that it becomes hard to actually continue reading. I would reccomend this book though, because it does give good information and especially if people are interested in learning about how mothers and children cope when the mother is incarcerated.

jamie -- any other reasons why "socialist feminism" best applies? what's the second most applicable theory? why.

On Saturday, March 12, 2005, Jamie Thomas reviewed:
Criminal Women

I read the book Criminal Women edited by Pat Carlen. I wanted to read this book because I've been researching women's criminality and the rise of female offenders. This was a good book to read because these stories were true and they really helped me to understand why some people decide to commit crimes. This book really kept me interested because I wanted to find out what happened to the women. I would recommend this book because it gives us insight from the other person's perspective.

jamie -- try to connect the book with the readings, especially the theories in arrigo.

On Thursday, March 17, 2005, Jamie Thomas reviewed:
Kids, Drugs and Crime

I read the book Kids, Drugs, and Crime written by Cheryl Carpenter, Barry Glassner, Bruce Johnson, and Julia Loughlin. This book focused on why kids turn to crime. Their main hypothesis was that drugs is the force that drives kids to commit crimes. They talk a lot about drug dealing and theft as the main crimes that kids commit. I think these people would side with the Marxist criminologists because they seem to feel that all these crimes revolve around money and they also blame the system for allowing these things to happen to kids. The strengths of this book would be the fact that they use real cases and in a lot of their research they are asking the kids themselves why they do what they do. This is good because we get the real answers instead of some researchers ideas as to why kids commit crimes. I also liked the personal stories that the kids gave of their lives. I think that helps people understand where these kids are coming from. I would recommend this book because the stories are interesting and these authors really did a thorough job of researching. Its interesting to read about. I would like to see if there has been any follow up though, because the book was written over ten years ago.

jamie -- would you like to research this issue in more depth? and definitely what has happened since this book was published?

On Monday, April 4, 2005, Ben White reviewed:
Kids, Drugs and Crime

I completed the book "Take Me Out" by Richard Greenberg. The main character, Darren Lemming, is a major league baseball superstar, product of an interracial marriage, and recently announced homosexual. The ironic part is that he is still widely adored by fans and respected and well liked even after his press conference in which he announced his sexual preference. This surprised me because of the masculiinity and stereotypes that associate with sports. The book ends with one of Lemmings' teammates nailing a friend of Lemmings of the opposing team in the head with a fastball and subsequently killing him. Greenberg leaves you wondering whether the pitcher intetionally meant to kill him or whether is was strictly an accident. I reccommend this book to any baseball or sports fan as well as any Law and Social Change student because of the surprising criminal act ending. Critical race theory is displayed throughout this book as the reader experiences bonding between racial cliches in the clubhouse and withdrawals from social outcasts on the team.

ben -- do you think it was intentional? can you elaborate further on CRT?

On Friday, April 8, 2005, Dawn Denny reviewed:
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

This book I would recomend everyone read. It makes sense about why Indians are not trusting and why they where so easily to shoot first and think later in the movie we saw. Sandcreek really sticks into my mind. The white men came into this tribe and killed women and children, actually cut a child out of the womb and put it on the ground next to the butchered mother. They scalped the Indians as well as cut out thier privates and would put the womens vaginas on there horses as seats, and use scrotums as holders, and when the mutilated one of the cheifs, they saved his for a"show off" metal of honor. They starved the Indians when the money was slow to come from the government, which was the Indians money in the first place, but they were unfit to be able to manage it. That then broke out in riots where Indians instead of starving to death would raid the places that held food. I relate the Indians with the peace making theory because they did everything to get along with the white men, and looked the other way, and only as a last result would go to war with them. I also see choas theory, in the way Indians treat one another with respect, forgiving, understanding each other. When pushed to far I see the Indians as being like the Anarchist, and queer theory because of the movements they did do, When they made a stance all together it did have an impact.

dawn -- way too long for a book review but i will put it up any how. let's focus on one theory at a time. for peacemaking crim, why? what else can you add to your argument for this theory?

On Saturday, April 16, 2005, Lindsay Weinsten reviewed:
Making All the Difference

Martha Minow looks at how we put labels on people and assign them into groups based on "difference" without recognizing that each person is individually different in themself. Society creates difference by assigning individuals into categories of age, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and disibility to name a few. The question arises in determining what differences between people should actually matter and for what purpose, and where boundaries should exist in whether to include or exlude based on special needs. It teaches an important lesson in learning that we must try to look at things from another's point of view and stop being so narrowminded. This book really relates to all the theories we discussed in class because it has so many different aspects to it. Mostly, I see constitutive critisism in that labels make people feel inferior and difference and inequality stem from those labels, making some feel as though they are not as good as others because of their differences. Prophetic justice as well, in that it looks at moving away from the status quo in realizing that "different" does not mean "bad".

lindsay -- a little too long for a book review. nevertheless, can you strengthen your argument for prophetic criticism?

On Saturday, April 16, 2005, Linda Osterndorf reviewed:
Lost Boys

"THE LOST BOYS - Why our sons turn violent and how we can save them". James Garabino, Ph.D The Free Press, NY, NY Copyright: 1999. 274 pages Youth violence is spreading across America. Once confined to "war zones" of major urban cities, it made national headlines because boys in Pearl, MI, Paducah, KY, Jonesboro, AR, Springfield, OR, went on a shooting spree. People are asking why, and what they can do to prevent it from happening in their neighborhood. All kids attend school with kids who are abused, ignored, abandoned, and these kids are at special risk for becoming violent. Dr. Garbarino cites a common theme: self-doubts stemming from humilation of being rejected at home and school. They "earn" respect through crime. Author argues that government policies minimizing support to families limits basic child protection and that creates toxcity of the social environment. Cites that the Constitution says that "all men are created equal", but really means all rich, white men. Every step toward creating equality for all reduces the likelihood that vulnerable boys will turn to lethal violence. When they do, we still must deal with them by reclaiming the boys "once they are lost".

linda -- longer than ideal for a book review. can you dialogue on which theories from arrigo apply?

On Monday, April 18, 2005, Chassidy Lewis reviewed:
Lost Boys

I read the Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer. At the end of A child called it the social worker finally got Dave out of the house because he was geting physically and mentally abused by his mother. In the Lost Boy, Dave was jumping from foster home to foster home every other month. He was still geting teased at school and from the other foster kids in the homes, because he felt like he didn't fit in, so he did everything he could do to get attention. So he started to steal and fight at school so he dropped out of high school. In the end, he found a very caring foster home unitl he turned 18. He got his his GED and joined the air force where he started his journey. The theory that the Lost Boy realtes with is semotics because the word child buse is viewed very different now from when it was viewed years ago. This also realtes to theory, practice, policy because him being abused changed how the laws of child abuse are today.

chassidy -- can you strengthen your discussion of semiotics?

On Monday, April 18, 2005, Miguel Rodriguez reviewed:
Agents of Repression

I read this book Agents of Repression by Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall. This book is about The FBI's secret wars against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement. I got this book after we watched the Documentary of Leonard Peltier and his people battling with the FBI and the Criminal Justice system. The FBI murdered Fred Hampton a BPP member and all was doing was bettering the lives of his people. I find it disturbing that the FBI can do all these things to people who are just trying to better themselves and still be considered a respectable organization. This would be a good book to mention to the class.

miguel -- i don't have any record of this being pre-approved.

On Friday, April 22, 2005, Cecilia Rodriguez reviewed:
Not Guilty


cecilia -- why did this arrive beyond the absolute final deadline?

On Thursday, March 16, 2005, Ben White reviewed:
A Father's Story

A Father's Story is a book written by Lionel Dahmer--notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's father. This book provides an inside account of Dahmer's childhood growing up and some of the interesting things he did such as killing a dog and posting it's head on a stick and disecting small rodents he found around his home. I recommend this book to anyone interested in serial killers or Dahmer specifically because it gives a great insight to Dahmer's life before the killings began. This book relates to criminal justice and media because it involves one of the most gruesome, serial cases in the past century that was widely publicized throughout the country.

ben -- can you explain how this book relates to some of the concepts discussed in class?

From CRMJ 385 Media, Crime and Criminal Justice

On Tuesday, February 8, 2005, Jamie Thomas reviewed:
Education of a Felon

I read the book Education of a Felon by Edward Bunker. This was a wonderful book. It started by talking about his childhood and how he fell into the wrong crowd. Then it goes into talking about what he did to fall into the prison system and what happens to him while he was incarcerated. The only weakness is the fact that of course its one sided but its good to hear what happens on the inside. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to find out what really goes on in the prison system instead of what is reported on the news. We have talked in class about people's different perspectives and I think that in order to learn more its good to hear everyone's opionion and listen to there perspective on different situations.

jamie -- okay, but you really need to connect this to the course, in particular, the readings.

On Monday, February 21, 2005, Ericka Dobson reviewed:
Final Justice

I just wanted to give you an update on the book im reading for the media crime and criminal justice class. Final justice. WELL, it was believed that cullen t. davis one of the richest men in texas at the time murdered his step daughter who was 12 and his wife priscillia davis' boyfriend and shot priscillia's daughter dee's friends boyfirnd and priscillia. The investigation and trial was one of the most costly in texas history. It was also the first time the defendant on trial for murder had more money then the sate of texas. Cullen davis would eventually buy his way to a not guilty verdict. Then one year later they had evidence of him on tape paying for someone to kill for him but, again was accquitted. Then priscilla davis filed for wrongful death suit and that was dismissed. Cullen eventually had a few bad investments and becam in debt by 230 million dollars and filed bank ruptcy and to this date no prosecuttor has taken ont this case whch could still be tried for the murder of stan farr and assault on bubba. This book was very interesting.

ericka -- which concept discussed in class best fits this book? why.

On Tuesday, March 9, 2005, Christine Riggs reviewed:
Great American Outlaws

Here is my book report on this book. "The Great American Outlaw: A Legacy of Fact and Fiction" by Frank Richard Prassel looks at several of the "named" types of outlaws in American history and separates the fact from the fiction of them. It gives the history of where these stereotypes came from and tells real stories of several famous individuals (Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger, and Billy the Kid) as well as the media accounts that lead to their tales to become legendary. It serves as a great reference as how media likes to take a creative spin on crime. It also serves as a history of sorts of how the media has proceeded to do that throughout American history.

christine -- how does this book relate to some of the major concepts discussed in class?

On Thursday, March 16, 2005, Ben White reviewed:
Conversations of a Killer

I read Conversations of a Killer by Stephen Michaud. This book is an interviewed account between Bundy and Michaud that took place from a year up to the day before Bundy's execution. Interestingly Bundy would only comment about the murders when he spoke in third person about them. This book provides opinions from Bundy on everything from politics to college. It also has an account of Bundy's childhood and some of the aspects of a normal childhood he was lacking. I would certainly recommend this book because it helps explain and understand Bundy better as a person before simply labeling him as a serial killer. This book relates to the criminal justice field, law, and media because Bundy created a media circus in the courtroom when he tried unsuccessfully to counsel himself. It allows gives new information to one of the most publicized serial killers in past years.

ben -- can you elaborate further on the creation of a "media circus"?

On Friday, March 18, 2005, Jamie Thomas reviewed:
The Press on Trial

I read the book The press on Trial edited by Lloyd Chiasson. This book started out by explaining that a trial is like a great drama. We have the cast of charachters, a story line and an audience. It then went into specific details about some of the most publicized criminal trials in history. They talked about the actual trial and also how the media covered each event. They talk about the Social Responsibility Theory and how these trials tend to distract us from the real issues that we should be worried about. The press gives us what we want not what we need to know about. I really liked the fact that this book talked about real cases and I never realized how many mistakes that the press has made in covering some of these cases. It was very interesting to see how the press wrote about things that never even happened just to make the cases more interesting. I would recommend this book just to read about how the press would over exaggerate certain details to make the case more interesting.

jamie -- can you relate this book to some of the concepts discussed in class and in the readings? do you plan to research this issue more in depth (beyond reading this one book)?

On Saturday, March 19, 2005, Jamie Thomas reviewed:
Crime and the Media

I have just finished reading the book Crime and the Media David Hewitt and Richard Osborne. This book had lots of information on different aspects of media's portrayl of crime. It first focused on how media influences crime. It discussed how the radio, television, and movies have been said to induce crime. They called this the criminological perspective that people get their ideas to commit crimes from the media. They also focus how the media reports crime and the images they send out to the public. They talked about how many times the media cause moral panics by over reporting on certain crimes, making people believe that they happen much more than in reality. They say this is what stems are fear of crime because we are always hearing about on tv or the radio so we believe that we will eventually become a victim of crime, when in reality your chances of becoming a victim of crime are slim. I would recommend this book because it many different aspects of crime in the media and they don't really hold any biases they're just reporting the facts from their data.

jamie -- any other concepts/theories discussed in class that would apply to this book?

On Wednesday, March 23, 2005, Jamie Thomas reviewed:
Invisible Crisis

I read the book Invisible Crises which was edited by George Gerbner, Hamid Mowlana and Herbert Schiller. This book reminded me of the movie we watched in class called Outfoxed. It discusses how only a handful of people run all the media and we're getting information that they feel is important whether it really is or not. This also ties in with the concept of crime waves. Newscasts report on trends and the public really doesn't know what to believe because the media tries to entertain instead of inform. The book talks about how we are being deprived of information that we should know and crammed with nonsense. It also discusses how the media perceives minorities. They usually only focus on negative aspects instead of the positive. I would recommend this book to anyone who is really interested in learning more about how the media works. It has a lot of good information and it coinsides with lots of the information we have already discusssed in class.

jamie -- other concepts/theories discussed in class that would apply to this book? also, you need to go beyond book reviews by researching an issue in more depth now.

On Sunday, April 17, 2005, Tara Slorby reviewed:

the book is a easy read, the way its set up is in sections that show how Bill OReilly is a one sided conservative and gets a charge out of making his guests look like fools, but that is what Mr.Murdock would want. On page 16 I did like one thing that O'Reilly said about how sometime kids mimic what they see on TV, lets hope they don't mimic him. Hart covers many topics of O'Reillys slanted conservative views(but if you ask Oreilly hes not a conservative). O'Reily is quoted say things about the crime rate in NY when in actuality the statistics he gave were completely wrong. Another thing that I found interesting was when he attacked Dr.Kirkpatrick from UNC and the teaching of the Koran or schools talking about the Koran. But the best chapter isO'Reilly vs O'Reilly show how he says one thing at one point the later in another interview will say the complete opposite

tara -- good, but can you tell me what concepts discussed in class does this book relate to?

On Friday, April 22, 2005, Cecilia Gonzalez reviewed:
Condemnation of Little B


cecilia -- if you had submitted this book review earlier, we would have had time to dialogue on who this relates to key concepts in the course.