Racial profiling has become a hot topic, and this book in the "Open for Debate" series does not shy away from its many issues. Some of the questions discussed are: What is racial profiling? How is it different from, or similar to, criminal and ethnic profiling? What do the courts have to say about it? How has it developed historically? What are law enforcers' and individuals' attitudes toward it? What is its likely future? The debate is whether or not this method of fighting crime and terrorism should be a part of the American system. Is it discriminatory? Is it effective? Is it Constitutional? Ethnic profiling started with the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Criminal profiling began in the mid-twentieth century with the capture of the Mad Bomber of New York and continued with mixed results as the FBI sought out "skyjackers" and the DEA hunted down drug couriers. Racial characteristics became a part of these profiles until there was a national uproar that "driving while black" had become a crime. Although politicians promised to end such discrimination, the terrorist act against the World Trade Center on 9/11 led to the passage of the USA Patriot Act, with guidelines that allow for ethnic and racial profiling for terrorist investigations. Included are a number of accounts of cases where individuals have been targeted by such profiling. The text is compelling and well researched. There are notes, references, a bibliography, an index, photos, and callouts.
- Christina Fairman
These newest series additions address a variety of topics that teens will recognize: affirmative action, racial profiling, media bias, marriage, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Each volume provides historical context for its topic along with contemporary views of how the issue is being addressed in society today. Where appropriate, both sides of an issue are addressed, although more Affirmative Action and Racial Profiling are the strongest of the group. Racial Profiling is especially balanced, with separate chapters clearly outlining arguments for and against the practice. Seven chapters outline the chronology of the issue, beginning with World War II Japanese internment policies and ending with post-September 11 security threats. Kops effectively combines factual information about discrimination and bias with a larger discussion of the legal needs to contain crime. Students of government and sociology, as well as those considering a future in law enforcement, will find this book to be informative and useful. These five books are uneven in the appeal that they will have with teens. Media Bias and The Arab-Israeli Conflict, although informative, do not address topics that generally interest the target age group. Marriage is not recommended for purchase based on its incomplete presentation of debates about the issue. For a more balanced discussion of same-sex marriage, teens can refer to the excellent resources available for students at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-These titles join an ever-increasing output from publishers seeking to mine controversial topics. They define and discuss their respective subjects from a variety of perspectives, giving the pros and cons of a number of positions. However, unlike the "Opposing Viewpoints" titles (Gale), the discussion points here are made by one author instead of a number of scholars and experts providing their views. Both Kops and Kowalski strive mightily to maintain balanced presentations. Both books are well organized and are clearly and plainly written. A careful reading by students should yield a wealth of information for research papers, term papers, essays, or debates. These are fine additions to social-issues collections, but should be used in conjunction with other titles that offer a variety of voices.-Carol Jones Collins, Columbia High School, Maplewood, NJ Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.