A useful addition to the necessarily growing literature on urban violence.

BLEEDING OUT

THE DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES OF URBAN VIOLENCE--AND A BOLD NEW PLAN FOR PEACE IN THE STREETS

A study of how to reduce gun violence in low-income urban neighborhoods, a step the author sees as a necessary precursor to bringing neighborhood residents up from poverty.

Abt is well-positioned to make his arguments: He is currently a research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Previously, he was a policymaker in Barack Obama’s Justice Department and studied urban violence in the administration of New York governor Andrew Cuomo. In addition, Abt has viewed gun violence as a Washington, D.C., high school teacher and as a New York City prosecutor. The author opens with an emergency room triage analogy: Doctors must halt a patient’s bleeding before even considering long-term recovery options; likewise, various parties must pull together to stop gun violence before moving on to broader solutions regarding employment, better wages, and other factors taken for granted in safer enclaves. In this “work of forward-looking pragmatism,” Abt skillfully mixes academic research, information about previously instituted pilot programs, and interviews with families devastated by gun-related homicides to propose a multistep solution that he believes will reduce gun deaths in cities across the country. The author argues that identifying individuals who carry out the violence as well as specific neighborhood corners where much of the shooting occurs constitute straightforward tasks. A mixture of prevention and punishment is vital, and Abt is confident that academic theory and street knowledge can coexist. “Perhaps surprisingly to some,” he writes, “social scientists and the street are largely in agreement on urban violence, one reinforcing the other as they see the same phenomenon through different lenses, with each perspective being necessary but not sufficient for a full understanding of the issue.” The author also addresses relevant issues of race and class, noting that “violence is not simply a manifestation of poverty; it is a force that perpetuates poverty as well.”

A useful addition to the necessarily growing literature on urban violence.

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5416-4572-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Basic

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS

Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative which retrieves her first sixteen years from "the general darkness just beyond the great blinkers of childhood."

Her story is told in scenes, ineluctably moving scenes, from the time when she and her brother were sent by her fancy living parents to Stamps, Arkansas, and a grandmother who had the local Store. Displaced they were and "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." But alternating with all the pain and terror (her rape at the age of eight when in St. Louis With her mother) and humiliation (a brief spell in the kitchen of a white woman who refused to remember her name) and fear (of a lynching—and the time they buried afflicted Uncle Willie under a blanket of vegetables) as well as all the unanswered and unanswerable questions, there are affirmative memories and moments: her charming brother Bailey; her own "unshakable God"; a revival meeting in a tent; her 8th grade graduation; and at the end, when she's sixteen, the birth of a baby. Times When as she says "It seemed that the peace of a day's ending was an assurance that the covenant God made with children, Negroes and the crippled was still in effect."

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1969

ISBN: 0375507892

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1969

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A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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