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BODY COUNT

MORAL POVERTY . . . AND HOW TO WIN AMERICA'S WAR AGAINST CRIME AND DRUGS

Virtuecrats Bennett and gang haul in the usual suspects in this flat-footed, statistic-heavy collection of warmed-over nostrums. If the doomsayers are right, we are soon in for the mother of all crime waves, as the Baby Boomers' offspring enter their dangerous late teens. Conjoined with the general decline in moral values, community, and sobriety, these teenagers will be horrifingly violent, cold-blooded ``super predators'' bent on mayhem for mayhem's sake. But don't despair: Bennett (The Moral Compass, 1995, etc.), Princeton professor DiIulio, and Walters, the executive director of the Council on Crime in America, have the answers: Restrict alcohol, ratchet up the war on drugs, increase prison sentences, make adoption easier, provide youth with positive role models, improve education, and above all, revive religious faith. To back up their tough-minded prescriptions, they've dredged up all the right corroborating statistics. While their findings are generally convincing—if not downright obvious—the authors could use a refresher course on the abuse and misuse of statistics; for instance, having cited various studies on the correlation of alcohol use and crime, they appropriately warn readers that there is no proof of a causal relationship; but they then do a backflip, citing mere ``common sense'' to support such a relationship. However, they do succeed in exploding several of the more popular canards about crime, including the frequently made assertion that our prisons are filled with nonviolent drug offenders and that poverty is the root cause of criminality. Despite the authors' desire to appear contrarian, most of the recommendations in this book (except the call for a renewed war on drugs) are squarely in the mainstream of modern criminological thought. But then, the virtue industry has never made a virtue of originality. (Book-of-the-Month Club selection; national television/radio satellite tours)

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 1996

ISBN: 0-684-83225-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1996

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THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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