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Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Welcome goonlings to the Awful Book of the Month!
In this thread, we choose one work of literature absolute crap and read/discuss it over a month. If you have any suggestions of books, choose something that will be appreciated by many people, and has many avenues of discussion. We'd also appreciate if it were a work of literature complete drivel that is easily located from a local library or book shop, as opposed to ordering something second hand off the internet and missing out on a week's worth of reading. Better yet, books available on e-readers.

Resources:

Project Gutenberg - http://www.gutenberg.org

- A database of over 17000 books available online. If you can suggest books from here, that'd be the best.

SparkNotes - http://www.sparknotes.com/

- A very helpful Cliffnotes-esque site, but much better, in my opinion. If you happen to come in late and need to catch-up, you can get great character/chapter/plot summaries here.

For recommendations on future material, suggestions on how to improve the club, or just a general rant, feel free to PM the moderation team.

Past Books of the Month

[for BOTM before 2018, refer to archives]

2018
January: Njal's Saga [Author Unknown]
February: The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
March: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
April: Twenty Days of Turin by Giorgio de Maria
May: Lectures on Literature by Vladimir Nabokov
June: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
July: Warlock by Oakley Hall
August: All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott
September: The Magus by John Fowles
October: I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
November: Arcadia by Tom Stoppard
December: Christmas Stories by Charles Dickens

2019:
January: Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
February: BEAR by Marian Engel
March: V. by Thomas Pynchon
April: The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout
May: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
June: 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann
July: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
August: Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay
September: Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
October: Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
November: The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
December: Moby Dick by Herman Melville

2020:
January: The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
February: WE by Yevgeny Zamyatin
March: The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini by Benvenuto Cellini
April: The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
May: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Dame Rebecca West
June: The African Queen by C. S. Forester



Current:

The book is available at 70% off ( $3.00) here: https://www.versobooks.com/books/24...end-of-policing




About the book

quote:

How the police endanger us and why we need to find an alternative

Recent years have seen an explosion of protest against police brutality and repression—most dramatically in Ferguson, Missouri, where longheld grievances erupted in violent demonstrations following the police killing of Michael Brown. Among activists, journalists, and politicians, the conversation about how to respond and improve policing has focused on accountability, diversity, training, and community relations. Unfortunately, these reforms will not produce results, either alone or in combination. The core of the problem must be addressed: the nature of modern policing itself. “Broken windows” practices, the militarization of law enforcement, and the dramatic expansion of the police’s role over the last forty years have created a mandate for officers that must be rolled back.

This book attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. It shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice—even public safety. Drawing on groundbreaking research from across the world, and covering virtually every area in the increasingly broad range of police work, Alex Vitale demonstrates how law enforcement has come to exacerbate the very problems it is supposed to solve.

In contrast, there are places where the robust implementation of policing alternatives—such as legalization, restorative justice, and harm reduction—has led to reductions in crime, spending, and injustice. The best solution to bad policing may be an end to policing.


quote:

The End of Policing combines the best in academic research with rhetorical urgency to explain why the ordinary array of police reforms will be ineffective in reducing abusive policing. Alex Vitale shows that we must move beyond conceptualizing public safety as interdiction, exclusion, and arrest if we hope to achieve racial and economic justice.”

– Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Professor, CUNY Graduate Center, Co-Founder of Critical Resistance, author of Golden Gulag




About the Author

quote:

Alex S. Vitale
Alex S. Vitale is Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College. His writings about policing have appeared in the New York Times, New York Daily News, USA Today, the Nation, and Vice News. He has made appearances on NPR and NY1.

Interview with the author here:

quote:

So it seems like a good moment to talk to Alex S. Vitale. He's the author of the 2017 book The End of Policing. In it, he argues that rather than focus on police reform or officer retraining, the country needs to reconsider fundamentally what it is the police should be doing at all.

I spoke with Vitale about what roles police should and shouldn't play, what he makes of the current protests and what actual change in the way police in this country do their jobs might look like. Our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

https://www.npr.org/sections/codesw...need-the-police



Pacing

Read as thou wilt is the whole of the law.

Please post after you read!

Please bookmark the thread to encourage discussion.


References and Further Materials


Suggestions for Future Months

These threads aren't just for discussing the current BOTM; If you have a suggestion for next month's book, please feel free to post it in the thread below also. Generally what we're looking for in a BotM are works that have

1) accessibility -- either easy to read or easy to download a free copy of, ideally both

2) novelty -- something a significant fraction of the forum hasn't already read

3) discussability -- intellectual merit, controversiality, insight -- a book people will be able to talk about.

Final Note:

Thanks, and we hope everyone enjoys the book!

Hieronymous Alloy fucked around with this message at 18:37 on Jul 3, 2020

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Idaholy Roller
May 19, 2009


Only just getting into this but already feel that the New Jim Crow is very much an essential companion piece.

cryptoclastic
Jul 3, 2003

The Jesus


I just read the first chapter, and the Robert Evans mini Behind the Bastards, Behind the Police references the book a lot. Especially some of the incidents in this first chapter. If I hadn’t listened to that already I’d be a lot angrier right now.

Safety Biscuits
Oct 21, 2010



I thought this was being given away online...

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012




Safety Biscuits posted:

I thought this was being given away online...

It was, at Verso books. Looks like it's 70% off for the ebook right now, so still $3.

The North Tower
Aug 20, 2007

You should throw it in the ocean.

I'll be reading this this weekend. Hoping to have some thoughts Monday or Tuesday evening.

I made a left lit thread here in TBB, and I'm looking for more pieces to put in the 'intro to x' first post, if anyone's interested.

The North Tower fucked around with this message at 20:30 on Jul 16, 2020

nut
Jul 30, 2019

by Fluffdaddy


My physical copy came in a couple days ago and I just finished chapter 3 and didn’t realize how ignorant I was to even just the original of cops

Also great timing for

https://twitter.com/breaking911/sta...9948175363?s=21

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

I hope people are all reading but are just reacting with "welp, yeah, that figures" so aren't posting :P Like sixty people voted for this in discord!


Unless something changes my mind, I'm planning something special for next month, here's a hint:




nut
Jul 30, 2019

by Fluffdaddy


I dunno I’m pretty amazed at the book so far. I’m in Canada so it’s comparatively light here but I had no idea about the institution of police as a whole being made so overtly as a suppressive force to public movements and then being expanded to fail at every step

The chapter in school cops is surreal and I shouldn’t have decided to look up some of the vids mentioned

The North Tower
Aug 20, 2007

You should throw it in the ocean.

Yeah, mostly just surprised about the origins of police and how they are who they are because of this. Their continued culture of going after homeless people and alleged sex workers and inability to address actual issues (because their masters don't want them to--it's a way to take care of the fat that capitalism trims) doesn't seem surprising at all.

Srice
Sep 11, 2011



It has been slow going for me because the book just makes me so angry that I can only read a bit at a time. It's a very informative book and is great at arguing its point, enough that I might have to gift some copies to a few relatives who are fence-sitters on the whole "defund the police" thing (assuming I can convince them to read it, that is). It's a lot of stuff I'm aware of on the surface level but getting a historical context as well as more detailed points has been very helpful.

Anyways, gently caress the police.

Wittgen
Oct 13, 2012

We have decided to decline your offer of a butt kicking.


Srice posted:

It has been slow going for me because the book just makes me so angry that I can only read a bit at a time. It's a very informative book and is great at arguing its point, enough that I might have to gift some copies to a few relatives who are fence-sitters on the whole "defund the police" thing (assuming I can convince them to read it, that is). It's a lot of stuff I'm aware of on the surface level but getting a historical context as well as more detailed points has been very helpful.

Anyways, gently caress the police.

This is pretty much where I am. I haven't seen anything that was a shocking revelation, but all the connections and context really ground it. It's wild that there is one degree of separation between The Bell Curve and the paper that served as the foundation of broken windows policing. Wild, but it makes a lot of sense.

As another example, I knew about high stakes testing and that it was bad. I knew about the school to prison pipeline and that it was monstrous. But the book is very clarifying in its exploration of how these two things feed into each other and are really part of the same lovely system.

gently caress the police.

Daikloktos
Jan 1, 2020

by Cyrano4747


Whew, just finished, great book

The North Tower
Aug 20, 2007

You should throw it in the ocean.

I feel like it was very ‘Verso’s introduction to ____’-ey, which is the pattern for a lot of their books. I think I’ve read all of their collaborations with Jacobin and they feel like they’re good 3 to 5-part lectures about any given topic.
On one hand this makes for a good intro to a topic, but I’d like to know where to go for a deeper dive. I’m not entirely sure what that would be or look like, though.

Verso does re/print a lot of critical theory, though, so I love them for that.

Kangxi
Nov 12, 2016

The hat is mandatory.


Finished this yesterday. It wasn't exactly shocking, given, well [waves hands around vaguely at the protests that are still going on] but Vitale argues his points very clearly and I'm going to use them in other conversations.

It's all the detail that can't be fit in the slogan "Defund the Police/Abolish the Police/gently caress the Police", and that's very important when you're talking about the big meaningful changes that one hopes for.

nut
Jul 30, 2019

by Fluffdaddy


Oh yeah I forgot to come back upon finishing this book a couple days ago. Echoing most people, there is a lot of confirmation in the middle but I thought the chapters near the end on border and political policing kinda picked back up. I think the author always recognizes that the problem extends beyond the police to the institutions that fund them and they try to suddenly let all that bigger rhetoric spill out in the end in the conclusion which was meh, in my opinion.

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Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Next month will be:



(free download, high-res version here: https://archive.org/details/merryadventureso00pylerich )

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