A solid, accessible contribution to the literature of restorative justice.

WHEN SHOULD LAW FORGIVE?

A Harvard Law School professor examines when it is appropriate for the law, that instrument of punishment, to show mercy through forgiving misdeeds.

The law in this country, writes Minow (In Brown's Wake: Legacies of America's Educational Landmark, 2010, etc.), is already inclined to forgive legal misbehavior in the matter of debt, allowing for bankruptcy proceedings in the place of erstwhile debtors’ prisons. That there is stigma attached and that those who go through the process may find their credit ruined for years does nothing to diminish the fact that those with legitimate claims against the debtor are forced into a system that may pay them pennies on the dollar. Thus, while’s there no reason to take joy in bankruptcy, at least it’s a possibility that all parties settle on. Things are different when it comes to murder, individual or mass, as with the genocidal killings in parts of Africa a generation ago, when Archbishop Desmond Tutu and other leaders organized campaigns that forgave while not forgetting. Minow examines when it is appropriate for legal institutions to press for forgiveness rather than punishment. For example, what of the case of child soldiers, kidnapped and pressed into service in terrible campaigns in conflicts throughout the world? “To ask how law may forgive is not to deny the fact of wrongdoing,” writes the author of this and other problems. “Rather, it is to widen the lens to enable glimpses of these larger patterns and to work for new choices that can be enabled by wiping the slate clean.” Throughout, Minow writes evenhandedly. She observes that in the instance of presidential pardons, one vehicle for forgiveness, it all hinges on lack of corruption—lack that could not be demonstrated in the instance of Donald Trump’s pardon of disgraced Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio, nor by Bill Clinton’s pardon of big-ticket donor Marc Rich. Forgiveness works, Minow holds, but only when it is clean, unforced, and willingly extended.

A solid, accessible contribution to the literature of restorative justice.

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-393-08176-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2019

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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