Last Updated March 22, 2017
Dotty Brown's Boathouse Row was reviewed in the Spring 2017 issue of Pennsylvania Heritage. The review read, "Brown reveals numerous charismatic and talented personalities, tells a slew of frequently amusing and inspiring stories, and leaves the lucky reader understanding one of the prouder aspects of Philadelphia sports and recreational culture. Beautifully illustrated, this is the rare volume that both serves as a handsome coffee table book and as a first-rate read. It fills a gap in the literature and show remain the standard work on boat racing's own Philadelphia story for decades to come."
We Shall Not Be Moved/No nos moverán by David Spener, was reviewed in the April 2017 issue of Peace & Change. The review read, "[A] concise, readable examination of the arts of resistance and the inspiration of left-wing internationalism. Rich in its multidisciplinary fluency, the book draws theory and method from musicology, sociology, anthropology, and history to trace how the English language 'We Shall Not Be Moved' originated as an African American antebellum spiritual, then became a militant twentieth-century labor tune, and then a Civil Rights freedom song, and ultimately a 'transnational social movement anthem' reconceived in Spanish-speaking communities on both sides of the Atlantic as 'No Nos Moverán.' Spener navigates a lot of territory—linguistically, culturally, geographically, and historically—in the book, and he does it well. The text is lean and learned. The author is steeped in the traditions and orientations of social justice movement culture. He writes with authority and with clear admiration for his subject matter."
Illness or Deviance? by Jennifer Murphy, was reviewed on the website Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books in January 2017. The review read, "This book is a most worthwhile read.... Murphy's study provides the first realistic and critical look at how and why drug courts attempt to manipulate their clients, how clients adjust to these efforts, and what difficulties and confusions this leads to. In the process, she has created an analytical path for future studies of drug courts and laid the groundwork for more realistic evaluation of them."
Last Updated March 15, 2017
Sesqui, by Thomas Keels, was reviewed online in Library Journal, November 18, 2016. The review read, "Historian Keels recounts Philadelphia's spectacularly unsuccessful attempt in 1926 to celebrate the sesquicentennial of American independence with a world's fair.... The author demonstrates at length how the fair was entangled with local and state factional politics.... [R]eaders get broader context in a series of well-presented chapters that address the fascinating intersection of the fair with important national issues related to immigration, race, gender, and even sports."
Shaming the Constitution, by Michael Perlin and Heather Ellis Cucolo, was reviewed on the blog, The Scarlet Letter Echo: Women Against Registry, on March 12. The review read, "[A] must read for registrants and their families.... It points out the failures in our justice system when it comes to sex offenders and provides common sense ideas about where courts have gone wrong and what they need to do better."
Ball Don't Lie!, by Yago Colás, was briefly mentioned in the March 2017 issue of American Literature. [see page 204] The item read, "Theorizing at the 'intersection of language and basketball,' this cultural study examines the central myths that construct the sport, from basketball's invention in 1891 to its expansive global present. Colás excavates the naturalization and circulation of the game's predominant myths to demonstrate how 'alternative accounts' of critical genealogies and 'inventions' central to the sport's performance might challenge these narratives. The three chronological sections that organize this project consider how the sport's initial inception, its intersectional growth with the Civil Rights movement, and contemporary global spread have contributed to dynamics of race, class, gender, and 'physical culture' in US society."
Last Updated March 8, 2017
Randy Stoecker's Liberating Service Learning and the Rest of Higher Education Civic Engagement, was reviewed in Volume 7, No. 2, 2016 of Partnerships: A Journal of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement. The review read, "Stoecker does not shy away from asking the hard questions, including challenging widely celebrated dominant theories, practices, and even histories in institutionalized service learning. He challenges those in the field to reflect on the language we use, terms like reciprocity, partnership, and social justice, and to critically examine if our practice actually aligns with proclaimed theories and values.... Stoecker understands the deep complexity of service learning work, tapping into the conflicting feelings practitioners navigate as we offer soundbites or quotes for news articles, write letters of recommendation, apply for grants, and receive awards and accolades for our work with the community. He challenges the field to ask the hard questions of not only ourselves but also of our institutional leaders, and encourages us to reconsider our practice and take risks."
The Enigmatic Academy, by Christian Churchill and Gerald Levy, was reviewed in the March 2017 issue of Contemporary Sociology. The review read, "[T]his book will be of most value to those seeking qualitative accounts of class-based socialization in different types of educational settings. The authors have done a fine job of shedding light on sites like small liberal arts colleges, elite boarding schools, and unaccredited job training programs that are often not part of mainstream discussions in sociology of education areas focused on the modal educational experience."
The Struggling State, by Jennifer Riggan, was reviewed in the March 2017 issue of the Journal of Modern African Studies. The review read, "Riggan critically analyses the Eritrean governments' policy of societal militarisation and its impact on educational sector.... I am highly impressed by Riggan's in-depth analysis and her detailed insights concerning the authoritarian state and its violent and punitive character. Her study illustrates how the introduction of indefinite national service has negatively affected education, social capital formation and the nation-building and development processes. Riggan shows a high level of scholarship and thorough knowledge of her subject matter.... I highly recommend this book as a testimony of a critical juncture in Eritrea's troubled history."
American Heathens, by Jennifer Snook, was reviewed in the February 2017 issue of Nova Religio. The review read, "American Heathens provides both an overview of the various discourses, practices, and social networks that constitute the Heathen current in the United States, as well as analyses of that current in terms of social constructivist theory.... [The] topics are all treated with great care and nuance—yielding insightful analyses of facets of a new religious movement of increasing global importance that has not previously been explored by any within academia.... [T]he academic merits and complete novelty in terms of the subject of American Heathens makes it required reading for any scholars engaging with contemporary Neopaganism in general or with Heathenry in particular."
Exploring the Roots of Digital and Media Literacy through Personal Narrative, edited by Renee Hobbs, was reviewed in the February 2017 issue of the European Journal of Communication. The review read, "This book certainly provides a fresh way of introducing new readers to key intellectual thinkers, some of whom were writing about media, education, technology and culture a good while before media and communication studies emerged as distinct fields. It is also an entertaining read, with an engaging mix of individual accounts, well-chosen quotation and scholarly discussion. Both old hands and novitiates will find many points of interest in this collection."