Criminal to Critic: Reflections amid the American Experiment

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This autobiographical discourse traces the experiences of James Palombo from drug-dealing wise-guy and convict to social worker, professor, and world traveler. Along the way, and through his struggles, Palombo speaks to a variety of important issues relative to America—a country he sees as often at odds with its own identity. Combined with the research of Randall Shelden, Criminal to Critic raises significant and timely thoughts, ultimately serving as a bridge between academic and public audiences in encouraging a dialogue imperative to today's need for a more unified and civic-minded society.

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Editorial Reviews

Dan Macallair
Palombo’s book is not only an inspiring personal tale about overcoming the destructive and demoralizing effects of imprisonment, it is also about how to redirect your life towards social good. The story weaves through his troubled early life that led him to prison and his later experiences that allowed him to emerge from prison life with renewed hope and purpose. The author does a brilliant job of placing his experiences into the historical and political context of the criminal justice system, providing a running commentary on some of the most important issues facing the American experiment we call 'democracy.' Randall Shelden’s valuable footnotes, foreword, and afterword open up a wider perspective of the criminal justice system. A must-read for any student of the subject!
James E. Golden
Palombo's understanding of political, economic, and social America influenced me greatly during my time as a student. As a licensed professional in the field of social work, I still see the significance of what was considered in the classroom. For those interested in direct service in the criminal justice and social work arenas, as well as for those concerned with macro issues like freedom, equality, war, and 'global America' this book makes for a definite read.
Marisa Sestito
Knowing James Palombo's success as a guest lecturer at the University of Italy and the varied and important concerns raised in his book, I recommend Criminal to Critic for both public and academic audiences. As a concerned European, there is no better time for this type of story to be told.
Fred Fitzgerald
This is the best book I've come across in quite a while. It encourages people to understand our country's concerns, while promoting dialogue and analys. The book reveals important considerations as to our attachments to democracy and capitalism while telling a true story linked to our American Experiment. I join the list of people hoping for good things to develop from this book.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

James E. Palombo is adjunct faculty in the Criminal Justice Department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Randall G. Shelden is professor of criminal justice at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Part I Chapter 3 Jail Chapter 4 Prison Chapter 5 The New Place Chapter 6 Getting Out Part 7 Part II Chapter 8 Getting On Part 9 Part III Chapter 10 Becoming an Academic Chapter 11 Career Developments in California Chapter 12 A Move to New York Part 13 Part IV Chapter 14 The European Experience Chapter 15 The Far East Part 16 Part V Chapter 17 Europe and the Middle East Chapter 18 Returning to the Scene of the Crime Part 19 Part VI Chapter 20 Conclusion: Rethinking America Chapter 21 Afterword

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