Law, Justice, and Society: A Sociolegal Introduction.

Author:Long, Lydia M.
Position:Book review

Law, Justice, and Society: A Sociolegal Introduction, by Anthony Walsh and Craig Hemmens, New York, Oxford University Press, 2008, 404 pp.

This collaborative effort by Anthony Walsh and Craig Hemmens is written for a general student audience but will also find its way onto the bookshelves of many criminal justice professionals and practitioners. Legal-oriented texts often make for dry reading and tend to only be used as reference material. However, in this instance, the authors have blended legal issues with historical and sociological contexts into a volume that is not only informative but also interesting to read. This sentence, for example, begins an engaging introduction to social control and the law. "In 1890, a Harvard Law Review article expressed concerns about privacy issues emanating from the invention of photography."

If you want to understand the legal underpinnings of our society, you will find this book fascinating. The authors achieve their objectives of making the reader appreciate the role and importance of law in society and history. Each chapter uses an instance from history and proceeds to explain the legal and sociological implications in clear and understandable terms. The text includes a layman's explanation of the courts and processes--essential knowledge for every adult.

The book includes a wide range of topics including justice and the law. federal and states courts, and juvenile justice. In Chapter 9, the authors discuss social control using the historical example of photography, as well as current topics such as the USA Patriot Act. Making a criminal out of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill makes an interesting introduction to Chapter 10...

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