VOYA - Cynthia L. BlinnSocial studies, history, and civics teachers, and coaches of debate teams, may find America's Victims quite useful, especially at the college level; personally, I couldn't finish the book. I believe the dichotomy between my understanding of the word "victim" (wounded individuals) and the book's treatment of oppressed or victimized groups of underprivileged persons is what stopped me; my work with convicted felons seems to have severely tainted my view. America's Victims undertakes the daunting task of providing a comprehensive overview of opposing viewpoints to basic questions about "victimhood" as it pertains to political correctness, civil rights, communitarian beliefs, the recovery movement, and the justice system, and the text performs admirably. Each of the four chapters provides from six to eight essays responding to a central question from opposing viewpoints. Exploring a range of viewpoints from politically liberal through conservative, most essays speak broadly of populations; without personal anecdotes, readers may find themselves floating adrift among persuasive essays beyond their realm of experience. Bold arguments made by experts may provide an excellent resource for guided classroom discussions, but the book will not attract YA readers on its own. Index. Illus. Biblio. Further Reading. VOYA Codes: 4Q 1P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, No YA will read unless forced to for assignments, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 10 Up-This series entry discusses the issue of "victimhood" and its influence on American society, the civil rights movement, the recovery movement, and the justice system. Contrasting views are presented between those who denounce the decay of personal responsibility in American culture and those who are concerned that rhetoric about victimization is eroding society's support for the feminist and civil-rights agendas. Compassion fatigue, political correctness, victimhood competition, repressed memory, talk-show exploitation, "abuse excuse," and other topics are explored in these articles by writers, lawyers, and other opinion makers. The essays are well organized, and the summary paragraphs and questions for consideration at the beginning of each article are especially helpful. Writing that is detailed, intensely argumentative, and loaded with professional jargon may discourage some students. However, those motivated to plow through this title will find it a rich resource for research papers and debates. A periodicals bibliography that supplements the diverse views presented and a list of organizations to contact are included.-Judith L. Miller, formerly at Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, IN
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