Rosen ably navigates these murky waters where sexual-harassment, libel, and invasion of privacy jurisprudence intersect with...

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THE UNWANTED GAZE

THE DESTRUCTINON OF PRIVACY IN AMERICA

A comprehensive and disturbing assessment of the often well-intentioned legal efforts that have culminated in a multi-pronged assault on civic notions of privacy and discretion—usefully epitomized by the Lewinsky affair.

Rosen (George Washington Univ. Law School/New Republic) deftly examines the daunting web of our wired, voyeuristic culture in developing a well-modulated argument for individual privacy in the public sphere. Much of Rosen’s thesis revolves around such diverse phenomena as sexual-harassment law and the increasingly commonplace workplace monitoring of e-communication. Yet Rosen is also concerned with what he persuasively views as a generalized whittling-down of the sanctity of the citizen’s space and “papers,” noting that protections guaranteed in landmark 18th- and 19th-century decisions have been tarnished by recent, infamous proceedings like the Bob Packwood affair (alongside less notorious but interesting cases). Still, Rosen is not tremendously polemical: his arguments are subtly modulated, combining sophisticated legal discussion with a keen sense of our contemporary scene’s foibles, funny and otherwise (as in Bill Clinton’s ironic support for Susan Molinari’s amendments regarding evidence admission to his 1994 crime bill, which later facilitated the Paula Jones lawsuit). Structurally, Rosen follows a sleek line, with simply titled chapters like “Privacy at Home” and “Privacy at Work” that allows his study to function both as an over-arching narrative of this grandiose erosion of the private society and as a handbook for those concerned enough to contemplate resistance, at least on the personal or community level. Such individuals may be most alarmed by the chapter “Privacy in Cyberspace,” which presents recent controversial cases—such as that of a Harvard Divinity School dean ousted for downloading pornography—and describes how every e-mail is centrally preserved and every online move tracked.

Rosen ably navigates these murky waters where sexual-harassment, libel, and invasion of privacy jurisprudence intersect with the mutated informational boundaries of cyberspace; his debut is a cohesive, attractive, and informative take on a truly unsettling, even grotesque face of contemporary life.

Pub Date: June 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-679-44546-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2000

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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SLEEPERS

An extraordinary true tale of torment, retribution, and loyalty that's irresistibly readable in spite of its intrusively melodramatic prose. Starting out with calculated, movie-ready anecdotes about his boyhood gang, Carcaterra's memoir takes a hairpin turn into horror and then changes tack once more to relate grippingly what must be one of the most outrageous confidence schemes ever perpetrated. Growing up in New York's Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s, former New York Daily News reporter Carcaterra (A Safe Place, 1993) had three close friends with whom he played stickball, bedeviled nuns, and ran errands for the neighborhood Mob boss. All this is recalled through a dripping mist of nostalgia; the streetcorner banter is as stilted and coy as a late Bowery Boys film. But a third of the way in, the story suddenly takes off: In 1967 the four friends seriously injured a man when they more or less unintentionally rolled a hot-dog cart down the steps of a subway entrance. The boys, aged 11 to 14, were packed off to an upstate New York reformatory so brutal it makes Sing Sing sound like Sunnybrook Farm. The guards continually raped and beat them, at one point tossing all of them into solitary confinement, where rats gnawed at their wounds and the menu consisted of oatmeal soaked in urine. Two of Carcaterra's friends were dehumanized by their year upstate, eventually becoming prominent gangsters. In 1980, they happened upon the former guard who had been their principal torturer and shot him dead. The book's stunning denouement concerns the successful plot devised by the author and his third friend, now a Manhattan assistant DA, to free the two killers and to exact revenge against the remaining ex-guards who had scarred their lives so irrevocably. Carcaterra has run a moral and emotional gauntlet, and the resulting book, despite its flaws, is disturbing and hard to forget. (Film rights to Propaganda; author tour)

Pub Date: July 10, 1995

ISBN: 0-345-39606-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1995

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