A troubling but hardtodispute assessment backed by an impressive amount of data.




A consultant to the United Nations International Drug Control Programme provides penetrating analysis of Italy's century-old struggle against the Mafia, a struggle that reached new heights in 1992 with the assassination of two prominent judges.

Jamieson, who has written on terrorism, organized crime, and drugs in both Italian and English journals, has done her research. She interviewed prosecutors, judges, politicians, priests, police officers, and widows of Mafia victims; she examined newspaper coverage, government documents, and court records; she put together chronologies and compiled statistics. From these sources she has constructed a narrative that takes a hard look at the successes and failures of the current antimafia movement. After a brief history of Mafia/government interaction, Jamieson studies four areas of antimafia activity: political, law enforcement, civic or grassroots, and international. Her primary focus is on the political response, since it is central to the other efforts. Jamieson finds that conflicts between the judiciary and the executive have led to stopgap measures rather than a concerted effort to adopt positive policies aimed at neutralizing the Mafia's threat. She considers the problems and assesses the effectiveness of such law-enforcement institutions as the police, the army, the intelligence agencies, and the witness protection program; she also takes a critical look at the laudable but limited responses of various other sectors of Italian society, including women's groups, the Catholic Church, civic organizations, and schools. Italy, Jamieson says, `stands at a crossroad in the antimafia fight`; which road it will take is still unclear. International efforts to fight the Mafia in such areas as drug and arms trafficking, fraud, money laundering, and extortion have also increased since 1992, but the author notes the slowness with which international and domestic bureaucracies move compared with the speed of organized crime. Her conclusion: organized crime, which now reaches every continent as well as cyberspace, is likely to continue to expand.

A troubling but hardtodispute assessment backed by an impressive amount of data.

Pub Date: May 22, 2000

ISBN: 0-312-22911-9

Page Count: 280

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Dramatic, immersive, and wanting—much like desire itself.


Based on eight years of reporting and thousands of hours of interaction, a journalist chronicles the inner worlds of three women’s erotic desires.

In her dramatic debut about “what longing in America looks like,” Taddeo, who has contributed to Esquire, Elle, and other publications, follows the sex lives of three American women. On the surface, each woman’s story could be a soap opera. There’s Maggie, a teenager engaged in a secret relationship with her high school teacher; Lina, a housewife consumed by a torrid affair with an old flame; and Sloane, a wealthy restaurateur encouraged by her husband to sleep with other people while he watches. Instead of sensationalizing, the author illuminates Maggie’s, Lina’s, and Sloane’s erotic experiences in the context of their human complexities and personal histories, revealing deeper wounds and emotional yearnings. Lina’s infidelity was driven by a decade of her husband’s romantic and sexual refusal despite marriage counseling and Lina's pleading. Sloane’s Fifty Shades of Grey–like lifestyle seems far less exotic when readers learn that she has felt pressured to perform for her husband's pleasure. Taddeo’s coverage is at its most nuanced when she chronicles Maggie’s decision to go to the authorities a few years after her traumatic tryst. Recounting the subsequent trial against Maggie’s abuser, the author honors the triumph of Maggie’s courageous vulnerability as well as the devastating ramifications of her community’s disbelief. Unfortunately, this book on “female desire” conspicuously omits any meaningful discussion of social identities beyond gender and class; only in the epilogue does Taddeo mention race and its impacts on women's experiences with sex and longing. Such oversight brings a palpable white gaze to the narrative. Compounded by the author’s occasionally lackluster prose, the book’s flaws compete with its meaningful contribution to #MeToo–era reporting.

Dramatic, immersive, and wanting—much like desire itself.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4516-4229-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.


Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative which retrieves her first sixteen years from "the general darkness just beyond the great blinkers of childhood."

Her story is told in scenes, ineluctably moving scenes, from the time when she and her brother were sent by her fancy living parents to Stamps, Arkansas, and a grandmother who had the local Store. Displaced they were and "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." But alternating with all the pain and terror (her rape at the age of eight when in St. Louis With her mother) and humiliation (a brief spell in the kitchen of a white woman who refused to remember her name) and fear (of a lynching—and the time they buried afflicted Uncle Willie under a blanket of vegetables) as well as all the unanswered and unanswerable questions, there are affirmative memories and moments: her charming brother Bailey; her own "unshakable God"; a revival meeting in a tent; her 8th grade graduation; and at the end, when she's sixteen, the birth of a baby. Times When as she says "It seemed that the peace of a day's ending was an assurance that the covenant God made with children, Negroes and the crippled was still in effect."

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1969

ISBN: 0375507892

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1969

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet