An instant replay of the trial of four suburban New Jersey high school athletes who sexually assaulted a retarded girl with a bat and broom. Laufer (Nightmare Abroad: Stories of Americans Imprisoned in Foreign Lands, 1993) quotes long stretches of the court record as he presents the Glen Ridge case in all of its made-for-TV depravity: the pathetically malleable victim, incapable of saying no; the rich, handsome football heroes who conspired to torture her; the sleazy, inept defense attorney who actually argued that ``boys will be boys.'' Laufer knows how to keep the reader riveted to the courtroom drama, although he overdoes the you-are-there verisimilitude (`` `Please bring the jury out,' ordered Judge Cohen''). But the book suffers from his tendency to substitute dead-end moral judgments for legal analysis: The ``Glen Ridge story...is certainly about consent [but] mostly it is about four evil, misguided criminals.'' Interviews with some trial observers and participants yield more subtle insights, but Laufer has a way- -ironic in this context—of merely quoting their sometimes rambling thoughts while confining his own analysis to their physical appearance. For example, he undercuts a NOW organizer's critique of the case with comments about her makeup and jewelry, and he describes a female prosecutor who grants him a post-trial interview as ``periodically pull[ing] on the hem of her long dress as it rides up her leg, exposing her slip.'' One of the most challenging questions of the case—whether the ``Glen Ridge rapists would be serving long prison sentences if they were not rich white kids''— is raised but barely pursued. Best for the brisk editing of a shocking court transcript; otherwise, superficial and melodramatic. Court TV does it better.

Pub Date: May 16, 1994

ISBN: 1-56279-059-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1994

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



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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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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