An intriguing though overly schematic history of date rape in America, from colonial times to the present. According to feminist scholar Sanday (Anthropology/Univ. of Pennsylvania), if you want to understand what happened one March night in 1990, when six frat brothers at New York City's St. John's University gang-raped their intoxicated black classmate, you have to ``journey through the centuries'' and study the sexual culture of the Puritans and their ancestors. And if you want to understand why the St. John's defendants were either acquitted or sentenced to probation, you have to study the misogynist jury instruction about false accusations devised by the English jurist Matthew Hale in the mid-17th century. Sanday's thesis is an academic conceit of the highest order; her insistence on historicizing both the crime of acquaintance rape and its disposition in courts of law results in vast oversimplifications about trends in gender ideology and criminal jurisprudence. Nevertheless, the author's approach yields some provocative insights: For example, she draws a convincing parallel between the 1793 case of Lanah Sawyer, a teenage sewing girl raped by the libertine son of an aristocratic family, and the 1991 case of Patricia Bowman, who accused William Kennedy Smith of date rape after a brief encounter at a Palm Beach bar. Like Bowman, Sawyer was excoriated in court as the archetypal working-class gold digger with a questionable sexual history—and despite the popular perception that the famous defendant was guilty, he was acquitted. Sanday is less successful in demonstrating how the contradictory theories of Sigmund Freud, Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, Hugh Hefner, Kate Millett, Camille Paglia, and Katie Roiphe have melded to inspire the 20th-century sexual Zeitgeist, as well as the opposing verdicts in the St. John's and Mike Tyson rape trials. Better for the analysis of specific cases than for the tourist-class ``journey'' through intellectual and legal history. (Author tour)
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").
This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)