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Under Fire

Under Fire

5.0 1
by Osha Gray Davidson

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Neither an expose nor a polemic, this book bogs down in description while stinting on hard analysis. Davidson ( Broken Heartland: The Rise of America's Rural Ghetto ) intersperses several set pieces--on the 1988 schoolyard massacre in Stockton, Calif., the 1986 congressional debate over the McClure-Volkmer Bill and the workings of a Washington, D.C., emergency room--with a fair-minded history of the National Rifle Association. Davidson looks critically at some of the NRA's broad-brush critics, suggesting that neither side gives ``any credence to the claims of the other.'' He observes that the NRA is ``neither the Evil Empire its foes claim nor the superpatriotic defender of the most cherished American values it claims to be.'' But only in the epilogue does he address important policy questions (such as the role of handguns in self-defense) and sociological analysis (such as of the urban-rural cultural roots of the gun control debate). His conclusion that the epidemic of gun violence must be addressed demands a more rigorous foundation. (Apr.)
Library Journal
This detailed history of that politically powerful and often feared lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA), examines the organization's current troubles and its declining influence with elected officials and leadership in the police community. The publisher claims that the book is ``nonpartisan'' but also provides a statement of praise from gun control advocate Sarah Brady. Davison has carefully researched his topic. His book is journalistic in style yet compares favorably with the best on this subject, such as James D. Wright and Peter H. Rossi's Armed and Considered Dangerous (Aldine de Gruyter, 1986) and Franklin Zimring and Gordon Hawkins's The Citizen's Guide to Gun Control ( LJ 7/87). Davidson's study brings the debate up to date. Highly recommended for any collection that has either of the aforementioned books.-- John Broderick, Stonehill Coll., North Easton, Mass.

Product Details

Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)

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