Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday Book Roundup

This weekend the internet is light on book reviews.

History Today's latest volume has two reviews of interest. The first is a review of Vivienne Richmond's Clothing the Poor in Nineteenth-Century England (Cambridge University Press).

There's also a review of two women's suffrage books, Jad Adam's Women and the Vote: A World History (Oxford University Press) and Jill Liddington's Vanishing for the Vote: Suffrage, Citizenship and the Battle for the Census (Manchester University Press).

The Los Angeles Review of Books has two separate takes on Marie Gottschalk's Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics (Princeton University Press). Reviewer Stephen Lurie offers his take here, and in his review, Michael Meranze writes,
"Marie Gottschalk’s commanding and disturbing Caught is our best guide to the political decisions and public policies that have created the carceral state and our present immobility on the issue of crime and its punishment. Gottschalk relentlessly tracks the different strands and effects of the carceral in the United States and in doing so offers a series of important insights and arguments. She moves through a remarkable range of issues: detailed critiques of penal policy and the limits of conventional reform; arguments over the place of the “new Jim Crow” both in the penal system and in our understanding of the penal system; the dismantling of rehabilitative programs, the increasing length of sentences, and the general debasement of prisoners and prison conditions; the endless surveillance faced by the formerly imprisoned or even charged; the dangerous effect of the growing importance of private prisons; the expansion of the immigration system; and the emergence of new “monsters” to justify the increased punitiveness of the last decades. This carceral archipelago (to borrow a term from Michel Foucault) is so deeply embedded in American law and society precisely because it is so disparate and diffuse."
There is an interview in The Nation with Eric Foner about "How Radical Change Occurs."