Reviewed Elsewhere [Vol. 2, #26]

June 26, 2009


Tobias Winright Reviews
Two Recent Books on Criminal Justice

As an undergraduate student 25 years ago, I found myself behind bars—not as an inmate but as a correctional officer. One of the youngest members of a large metropolitan sheriff’s department on the west coast of Florida, I worked full-time at the maximum-security jail in order to pay for college. Those four years working in the slammer schooled me, and they raised a number of questions for me as a Christian, especially about the death penalty and the use of force. I am continuing to unlearn certain attitudes and assumptions I held then, including some about punishment itself.

By vividly putting into words much of what I have personally pondered about prisons and punishment, these two books should help American readers—Christian or not, possessing firsthand experience with incarceration or not—to step back and take an honest look at what is happening in our current practice of large-scale imprisonment. Each book also asks why we insist on continuing down this punitive path.

Read the full review:

Good Punishment?
Christian Moral Practice and U.S. Imprisonment

James Samuel Logan

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2008.
Buy now: [ CBD ]

Changing Paradigms:
Punishment and Restorative Discipline

Paul Redekop

Paperback: Herald Press, 2007.
Buy now: [ CBD ]

BookForum Reviews

Millions heard the sound of freedom in the Beatles’ music. Elijah Wald hears a death knell. In the songs of the Fab Four, he argues, pop music completed its decades-long transformation from a kingdom of democratic dance and authorless song to a lonesome land of private pleasures and isolated audiences. The result was segregation along lines of race as well as taste: In the late ’60s, as white rock sought introspection in albums and black pop chased good times on singles, an “increasing divide between rock and soul, listening music and dance music,” developed. Wald writes that the Beatles destroyed rock ’n’ roll by leading “their audience off the dance floor, separating rock from its rhythmic and cultural roots,” and “point[ing] the way toward a future in which there need be no unifying styles.”

Read the full review:

How the Beatles Destroyed Rock n Roll:
An Alternative History of American Popular Music

by Elijah Wald

Hardback: Oxford UP, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Julie Clawson Reviews Will Samson’s ENOUGH
For Next-Wave Magazine.

I recently read Will Samson’s latest book Enough: Contentment in an Age of Excess. When I first started the book, I half-expected it to be a diatribe against modern culture, focusing on the sins of our excess. While the book does mention those excesses, what I found instead was a call to live into true church community. Will encourages us to say “enough” to the consumeristic tendencies that have overtaken our personal lives, our churches, or friendships, and our theology and return to a Christ-centered practice instead.

Read the full review:

Enough: Contentment in An Age of Excess.
Will Samson.

Paperback: David C. Cook, 2009.
Buy now: [ CBD ]