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Fixing Columbine
Doriane Lambelet Coleman
0890891923
Apr 2002
Hardcover
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Book Description
On April 20, 1999, the United States was shocked to witness the horrific slaughter of twelve high-school students and a teacher by two other students who also took their own lives at Columbine High School in the wealthy Denver suburb of Littleton, Colorado. This book explores the meaning of the Columbine tragedy, as well as the nature and causes of the larger epidemic of youth dysfunction that it has come to symbolize. This epidemic is characterized by extraordinary numbers — it affects between 15 and 25 million American children — and by its manifestations, including a childhood suicide rate that by some estimates has risen 700 percent since 1960, as well as by equally pervasive and alarming increases in rates of violent behavior, depression, and anxiety. Adopting a comparative perspective, Doriane...


Civil Action
Jonathan Harr
0679772677
September 1996
Paperback
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Book Review
In America, when somebody does you wrong, you take 'em to court. W. R. Grace and Beatrice Foods had been dumping a cancer-causing industrial solvent into the water table of Woburn, Massachusetts, for years; in 1981, the families of eight leukemia victims sued. However, A Civil Action demonstrates powerfully that--even with the families' hotshot lawyers and the evidence on their side--justice is elusive, particularly when it involves malfeasance by megacorporations. Much of the legal infighting can cause the eyes to glaze. But the story is saved by great characters: the flawed, flamboyant Jan Schlichtmann and his group of bulldogs for the prosecution; Jerome Facher, the enigmatic lawyer for Beatrice, who proves to be more than a match; John J. Riley, the duplicitous, porcine tannery owner; and a host of others. It's...


Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance (The American Empire Project)
Noam Chomsky
0805076883
September 2004
Paperback
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Book Review
Noam Chomsky is considered the father of modern linguistics. In this richly detailed criticism of American foreign policy, he seeks to redefine many of the terms commonly used in the ongoing American war on terrorism. Surveying U.S. actions in Cuba, Nicaragua, Turkey, the Far East and elsewhere over the past half a century along with the modern American war in Iraq, Chomsky indicates that America is just as much a terrorist state as any other government or rogue organization. George W. Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq drew worldwide criticism, in part because it seemed to present a new philosophy of pre-emptive war and an appearance of global empire building. But according to Chomsky, such has been the operating philosophy of American foreign policy for decades. Opponents of the Bush administration's tactics consistently point...


Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights
Kenji Yoshino
0375508201
January 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Seldom has a work of such careful intellectual rigor and fairness been so deeply touching. Yoshino, a law professor at Yale and a gay, Asian-American man, masterfully melds autobiography and legal scholarship in this book, marking a move from more traditional pleas for civil equality to a case for individual autonomy in identity politics. In questioning the phenomenon of "covering," a term used for the coerced hiding of crucial aspects of one's self, Yoshino thrusts the reader into a battlefield of shifting gray areas. Yet, at every step, he anticipates the reader's questions and rebuttals, answering them not only with acute reasoning, but with disarming humility. What emerges is an eloquent, poetic protest against the hidden prejudices embedded in American civil rights...


Enrique's Journey: The Story of a Boy's Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother
Sonia Nazario
1400062055
February 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Soon to be turned into an HBO dramatic series, Nazario's account of a 17-year-old boy's harrowing attempt to find his mother in America won two Pulitzer Prizes when it first came out in the Los Angeles Times. Greatly expanded with fresh research, the story also makes a gripping book, one that viscerally conveys the experience of illegal immigration from Central America. Enrique's mother, Lourdes, left him in Honduras when he was five years old because she could barely afford to feed him and his sister, much less send them to school. Her plan was to sneak into the United States for a few years, work hard, send and save money, then move back to Honduras to be with her children. But 12 years later, she was still living in the U.S. and wiring money home. That's when Enrique became one of the...


Bitter Harvest: A Woman's Fury, A Mother's Sacrifice
Ann Rule
0671868691
February 1999
Mass Market Paperback
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Book Review
Fans of Ann Rule will find much to relish in Bitter Harvest, the tale of a brilliant Kansas physician who holds herself together well enough to put on a decent show for the outside world, but in the heart of her horror-struck family is a violent and baffling monster. She drinks, abuses drugs, spews invective, and even lights fires. At one point she learns from an Agatha Christie novel about a potent toxin contained in castor beans, and she starts poisoning her long-suffering husband. Yet until the final fire that consumes two of her children, they continue to love her and defend her to attackers. Rule tells the story with flair, conveying all of the heady feelings involved, but still the book has a flaw: Rule fails to understand the main character. When a psychiatrist testifies that the doctor is at a younger age...


Hidden Evidence: Forty True Crimes And How Forensic Science Helped To Solve Them
David Owen
1552094839
September 2000
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Once it took a thief to catch a thief; these days it more often takes forensic scientistsAthe experts who scrutinize fibers and fabrics, tire tracks and shoe prints, cell scrapings and bloodstains. Journalist and engineer Owen's first book shows how these scientists work and what they discover. Forensic geologists trace pebbles and soil; engineers examine aircraft panels and wreckage to find the cause of a crash. Forensic pathologists investigate corpses for their time and manner of death; chemists test hair and blood for DNA. Owen organizes his book by type of evidence, which sometimes corresponds to manner of death: drowning, hanging, poison, guns, and the identification of bodies each get chapters. Each case shows how the scientists work. Some concern famous victims (Czar Nicholas II) or notorious criminals...


Death and Justice: An Expose of Oklahoma's Death Row Machine
Mark Fuhrman
0641651260

Hardcover
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Book Description
Retired LAPD detective and bestselling author Mark Fuhrman seeks to answer these questions by investigating the death penalty in Oklahoma - a place where a "hang 'em high" attitude of cowboy justice resulted in twenty-one executions in 2001, more than in any other state in the nation. The majority of these death penalty cases came from one jurisdiction, Oklahoma County, where legendary district attorney Bob Macy bragged about sending more people to death row than any other prosecutor, and where police chemist Joyce Gilchrist was eventually fired for mismanaging the crime lab. Examining police records, trial transcripts, and appellate decisions, and conducting hundreds of interviews, Fuhrman focuses his considerable investigative skills on more than a dozen of the most controversial Oklahoma death penalty cases,...


Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market
Eric Schlosser
0618446702
April 2004
Paperback
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Book Review
As much as 10% of the American economy, and perhaps more, is comprised of illegal "underground" enterprises, according to author and Atlantic Monthly correspondent Eric Schlosser. And while this segment is never discussed in the newspaper business pages, Schlosser tackles it with the same in-depth analysis and compulsive readability that made his Fast Food Nation a best seller. Reefer Madness spotlights marijuana, migrant labor, and pornography, three of the most thriving black market industries, and analyzes the often-tenuous place each holds in society as a whole. While each of the three could be the subject of its own book, Schlosser keeps his scope narrow by concentrating on the lives of the participants in the underground economy, especially Mark Young, an Indiana man given a life sentence for participating in a...


Tearing Down the Walls: How Sandy Weill Fought His Way to the Top of the Financial World ... and Then Nearly Lost It All
Monica Langley
0743247264
May 2004
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
A symbol of crony capitalism thanks to his friendly phone call to the 92nd Street Y pre-school on behalf of analyst Jack Grubman, Sanford Weill helped lay the groundwork for today's vertically integrated (and scandal-ridden) financial industry. Starting with a small brokerage, Weill built several business empires that culminated in the $83 billion 1998 merger that put him atop the global financial services leviathan Citigroup, an unprecedented agglomeration of investment and retail banks, insurance companies, consumer loan corporations and stock brokerages. More than a mere deal-maker, he also brought "lean and mean" management to Wall Street by laying off workers, slashing benefits, raiding pension funds and substituting stock options for salaries. Wall Street Journal reporter Langley's colorful biography tells...


Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy
Jacob S. Hacker
0300108702
October 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
One of the mysteries of contemporary American politics is how, in the wake of triangulating Democrats, a small base of conservative Republicans has steered the country so far to the right. In this book, two political science professors from Yale and Berkeley examine ascendant far-right Republicans and offer a sobering analysis of their strategies, many of which, the authors argue, have weakened the ordinary voter's power to "ensure that American politics remains on center." Closely-argued and very readable, the book never sinks under the weight of its details; the authors use an ironic list of rules like "Don't Just Do Something, Stand There" to give chapter and verse on how the ultra-right "hide their radicalism in a thicket of policy detail" and use poll-driven language to sex-up initiatives lacking popular...

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