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Customer Review

10 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Second rate book from someone who should know better, 1 May 2005
This review is from: Just Law (Paperback)
This is a second rate effort from someone who should know better. The book carries all the hallmarks of having been thrown together in great haste, as evidenced by the large number of grammatical and punctuation errors which lard the text.
Although I agree with many of Kennedy's conclusions (and admire her greatly for fighting against establishment bigotry and inertia) I felt that she had shot herself in the foot by writing a rant that is not backed up with hard research (e.g. "Research shows that..." without citing authority). Also, she asks us to accept her conclusions about complex subjects like immigration by making little more than bland assertions (E.g. "We are a nation of immigrants..."). She also fails to explain a major contradiction in her chapter about judicial appointments. To wit, she uses a few extreme examples of bad behaviour, such as sexist comments by white Oxbridge educated males, to make us believe that the whole system needs revamping, but then acknowledges that it is the finest judiciary in the world, emulated and envied by many other jurisdictions, and is incorruptible. Sounds like it works fine just as it is!
Finally, although Kennedy has been a tireless fighter against discrimination and a defender of the underdog, she runs into the danger in the book of sounding like one of those pseudo-non-racists that Richard Pryor used to take the mikk out of ("Have you noticed how nice white liberals are around black people?"). By all means let's rid society of racism, but let's do it using tighter rational, solid argument based on the facts to persuade, rather than her bland unquestioning taken-for-granted assumptions about police bigotry etc.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Jan 2011 22:34:05 GMT
trovurso says:
I've a feeling that the 9 people (so far) who report that they have found this review unhelpful might be swayed by their own personal feelings about the book. The review, whether you agree with it or not, is a helpful one as it brings out points which aren't mentioned in the 5-star reviews.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Dec 2012 23:00:22 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Dec 2012 23:01:12 GMT
C. Meban says:
That's interesting. I agree, I found the review helpful, because it articulated (somewhataggressively) the difficulty with this type of book. If you keep in the footnotes and the research, you put off less academic readers who need to hear these criticisms. If you take them out, you can be accused of not backing up your arguments. I've recently read and enjoyed Kennedy's Eve Was Framed: Women and British Justice and valued the benefit of her perspective and experience, without feeling that everything should be footnoted. Haven't read this one, yet... but found the review helpful because negative criticisms can help us to read more thoughtfully and to write more effectively.
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