PositiveBooklistWhile release from prison is often considered a happy ending, Hunt’s tale does not conclude there. Instead, Zerwick tracks Hunt’s life as an exoneree and dedicated activist, whose advocacy helped lead to substantive reform for death row inmates until the burden of his trauma led tragically to his taking his own life. Zerwick’s portrait of Hunt humanizes all who are incarcerated, opening out into a well-researched, frustrating, inspirational, and heartbreaking look at profound issues of equality and justice and how racism and injustice destroy lives.
PositiveBooklistLife in Carmel among its bohemian artists is a captivating subject, but Prendergast deepens it by entering the narrative to relay the difficulties she encountered researching Carrie and Nora, two fascinating women whose lives were largely buried in archives devoted to the men in their circle. At times awash in shifting details, ultimately Prendergast’s vivid history offers a sobering take on a romanticized time and place in which the men were lauded while the women were nearly erased.
Jed S. Rakoff
PositiveBooklistHighlighting both contemporary and historical influences, Rakoff breaks down the assumptions and expectations many Americans hold about justice and how it is served ... understandable and relevant, if somewhat uneven at times. Throughout, Rakoff’s passion to share his invaluable expertise and to elucidate key failings of the legal system rings loud and clear.
PositiveBooklistIt is a story of many setbacks and occasional success, and the detailing of medical reports and legal proceedings conveys a sense of the drawn-out process so many miners face. Hamby’s research is extensive, and his investment in revealing the plight of the miners and their families in the hope of reform is clear.
PositiveBooklistPsychiatrist Montross’ exploration of mental illness and its treatment with incarceration challenges assumptions about rehabilitation, especially in light of the use of mechanisms of revenge and punishment, such as isolation and deprivation ... Comparing the therapeutic environment of the hospital where she treats patients to the methods of control in prisons highlights how prisons are not merely neglecting prisoners’ mental-health needs, but exacerbating and sometimes creating mental illness ... Montross’ expertise is complemented by extensive research, including her many visits to facilities. The result is a thoughtful, relatable work that humanizes those who are incarcerated and raises crucial questions.
PositiveBooklistGibson’s first-hand accounts and comments on his broken Spanish and the quality of whatever coffee he’s being subjected to bring a personal edge to his observations and research on a topic with international reach spanning decades. In the shadow of the prototypes, Gibson seeks out people willing to share their experiences of and perspectives on the impact of the many forces at work on the border...They’re all given voices within Gibson’s enlightening and inclusive report on the walled border.