An astute, unvarnished account that should stand out from the crowd of pro– and anti–law enforcement books.

THE BLACK AND THE BLUE

A COP REVEALS THE CRIMES, RACISM, AND INJUSTICE IN AMERICA'S LAW ENFORCEMENT

An impassioned memoir focused on policing’s fraught relationship with communities of color and other marginalized groups.

Writing with Harris, CNN and Wall Street Journal security contributor Horace vividly depicts the surreal challenges faced by African-Americans in law enforcement following a distinguished career: “I’ve been part of the best and worst that my noble profession represents.” Writing with deep knowledge and concern, the author argues that unequal policing based on ingrained racial bias and the drug war is even more pervasive than the attention paid to the Black Lives Matter movement and flashpoints like the killing of Michael Brown would suggest. “Despite claims to the contrary,” writes Horace, “Black Lives Matter is not anticop.” Rather, it is an outgrowth of long-term alienation that white communities fail to perceive, due to disparate approaches to policing that often come to light in cases of brutality. The author focuses on the evolution of tactics relative to the post-1960s war on drugs, agreeing with many scholars that a narrative of punitive enforcement followed by mass imprisonment crippled minority communities following the civil rights era. While his tone is knowing and restrained, he appears anguished by the long-term arc of mistreatment and mistrust within black communities; he looks at specific policies and places, creating a somewhat meandering structure. He notes how Ferguson cops used aggressive tactics to generate revenue for years prior to the Brown killing. He also examines New Orleans to illustrate entrenched departmental corruption that culminated in several notorious police-involved murders. In Chicago, he explores a city in crisis due to intractable violence in segregated neighborhoods and an egregious excessive-force killing followed by a political coverup. There, as elsewhere, he concludes, “African-Americans and Latinos want a leader who will bring more fairness to policing.” Horace includes interviews with other cops, emphasizing diverse outlooks and deepening his perspective effectively.

An astute, unvarnished account that should stand out from the crowd of pro– and anti–law enforcement books.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-44008-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Hachette

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

INTO THE WILD

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

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