Tonstant Weader Reviews

Opinionated Book Reviews.


Criminal Justice

Police Brutality and White Supremacy by Etan Thomas

Police Brutality and White Supremacy is a collection of interviews by Etan Thomas of people in the movement for police reform and accountability, in the press, and even in the police. Thomas approaches each person with warmhearted openness that inspires... Continue Reading →

The Other Dr. Gilmer by Benjamin Gilmer

The Other Dr. Gilmer was a complete surprise to me. I had not heard the story before even though it was featured on This American Life. I think that made it more enjoyable as I learned with Dr. Gilmer who... Continue Reading →

Just Pursuit by Laura Coates

Just Pursuit is an excellent, fast-paced memoir of Laura Coates' career as a prosecutor. She does not sugarcoat her role and in the first chapter tells of how a man was deported because she did what she was required to... Continue Reading →

Beyond Your Bubble by Tania Israel

Beyond Your Bubble is a short book full of information on how to talk to people with whom you disagree passionately in order to come to a position of mutual respect. It has several exercises to help readers practice their... Continue Reading →

The Threat by Andrew G. McCabe

I suppose I am behind the times reading Andrew G. McCabe's book about the start of the Russia investigation and his retaliatory firing while America has moved on to the Ukraine scandal and impeachment, but the roots of the the... Continue Reading →

Prisoners of Politics by Rachel Elise Barkow

Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration is a welcome addition to the books tackling the carceral state the United States has become. Rachel Elise Barkow has the personal experience that gives her credibility on both sides of the... Continue Reading →

Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone by Astra Taylor

Democracy May Not Exist, but We'll Miss It When It's Gone is one of those books you might want to get in its physical form so you can shove it full of bookmarks, highlight sentences, write notes, stick little sticky... Continue Reading →

Charged by Emily Bazelon

Over a dozen years ago I was working on a report for a racial profiling campaign a coalition of organizations had organized. I came across a research study that looked at racial disparities in criminal justice from arrest to sentencing.... Continue Reading →

Thin Blue Lie by Matt Stroud

In 1967, the Johnson Administration's Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice released a report called The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society. It represented an extensive investigation into best practices and nationwide input and ideas. There were more than... Continue Reading →

Good Kids, Bad City by Kyle Swenson

Ricky Jackson and Ronnie and Wiley Bridgeman were good kids. Cleveland, Ohio, was a bad city, rife with crime and corruption, where racism was manifested in hypersegregation that resulted in a regional government that served and protected the white suburbs... Continue Reading →

Algorithms of Oppression by Safiya Umoja Noble

Most conversations about racism in America focus on individual acts and people. Was LuAnn wearing blackface as Diana Ross racist? When white people use the n-word ironically is it racist? Is Steve King of Iowa racist? (Yes, yes, and yes.)... Continue Reading →

When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele

When They Call You a Terrorist is the memoir of Patrisse Khan-Cullors, one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter. She grew up in Los Angeles in a Black neighborhood that was subject to the same over-policing and criminalization of Blackness... Continue Reading →

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

I finished Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy while I was sitting in the waiting room at the clinic today. Here's some solid advice, read this book at home. I didn't follow that advice and the tears were streaming down my face as I... Continue Reading →

Locked In by John Pfaff

John Pfaff's Locked In is about mass incarceration in the United States and how to address the problem. However, he argues we are mostly tinkering around the edges. According to Pfaff, the real causes of mass incarceration will be more difficult that we... Continue Reading →

When Police Kill by Franklin E. Zimring

When Police Kill is an important, groundbreaking book by Franklin E. Zimring. It is an absolutely necessary book that addresses the data shortcomings that will frustrate any attempt to address the incomparably high rate of killings of civilians by police in the United States,... Continue Reading →

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