Disorderly Conduct (Hardcover)
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|This gathering of essays by the maverick social observer Bruce Jackson will stir memories, give insights, and provoke strong reactions. Selections range freely over a wide spectrum of American social conditions, public policy, and crime and punishment issues from the mid-1960s to the present: the pulse of America as felt through a row of bayonet-carrying troops on the Pentagon porch; how prisoners get through the toughest days in the toughest prison in Texas, and how narcotics cops do the same on their beats in Harlem; miners and mine owners trying to get a piece of the dream in eastern Kentucky; an upper-middle-class party in Chicago where, instead of alcohol, the host served some of the best pharmaceutical dope available in the Midwest. Jackson cares deeply about the causes and ideas he explores. A master of economical and sharp expression, he appproaches(sic) the American social scene with a rare independence and vision. Readers will learn, for example, why he believes that "most of the people who commit crimes which could send them to prison do not go", and why the prison population "reflects only that part of the criminal world that isn't smart, rich, dishonest, or lucky enough to stay out of jail". The essays in this book remain remarkably fresh and crucially central to issues in contemporary American society. They will appeal to the general reader as well as to readers with more specialized interests in the criminal justice system and social policy.|