White Australia has a Black History. Barbara Miller Books copyright and written by Barbara Miller.
The author has set forth a monumental production examining injustice perpetrated upon an indigenous people. In her exhaustive examination of the basics upon which the moves were initiated and the manner in which they constantly were re-initiated and enforced she has presented a quite scholarly work supported by a large number of references as well as a hundred and ninety pertinent end-notes. Truly a remarkable accomplishment that does indeed show a dark history of disdain for the rights of individuals. It also is a tribute to William Cooper and the many others that attempted to regain not only the aboriginals land but their self-respect. The government’s demonstration of utter disdain is so reminiscent of that of the United States and its rough shod over-ride of the American Indian by their false treaties and promises, and the resulting “Trail of Tears”, the massacres and more. These quite parallel situations bring to mind a most interesting situation extant in each country – a basic and undying pride in their heritage demonstrated by an Australian woman and an American Indian man. Both often have been criticized for their early actions when others were immersed in the struggle for their people. Again simply demonstrating a somewhat similar lack of understanding with little knowledge of a situation and similarly lacking empathy. Isn’t it often said the “Everyone should have a dream to pursue and the more dire one’s circumstances, the greater the need for that dream”? And after the younger age at which they forged ahead with their dreams, both later returned to their roots with pride and proceeded to provide extensive help for their people.
The young Australian woman was Evonne Goolagong, daughter of a locally famous athlete mother who persisted in urging on her daughter, who became one of tennis’ multi-winning champions, including Wimbledon, in the 1970’s – 80’s. The young Indian was Billy Mills, the Oglala Sioux boy who against all odds gained the 1964 Olympic Gold Medal following a dream implanted by a desperate father in the mind of a grieving 8-year-old who had just lost his mother.
Discussion: Thus to reiterate, the author has provided a well-documented, exhaustive history of the manner in which still another group of indigenous people have been severely mistreated. Her extensive research has set forth and examined in detail each abominable act and has provided more than ample supportive data. It is a treasure trove of indisputable fact. The almost overwhelming detail leaves no space for any type of denial. Regrettably however, this makes movement through the material quite slow so readers, other than those interested in the many unacceptable actions perpetrated by governments, may find this to be somewhat of a deterrent to acquiring this fascinating material.
3* 5* Comprehensive expose; regrettable caveat for many readers.
SLOWER, an e-book for young adults, assumed to have been published, copyright and written by Ted Shepherd.*
The story opens with 9th grader Emit Friend sitting completely bored in science teacher Ms. Beans’ class. He cannot understand how the other students, except for his cousin Ellen, are not also going out of their minds. He has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and sleeps very poorly every night. Thus he falls asleep and is rudely awaked by Ms. Beans shouting his name. He awakens immediately and is told to report to the Principal’s Office. This is a rather routine matter for him, and besides the principal is a very old family friend whom he knows as “Uncle Dimitri” Zachs. Ms. Beans follows his arrival and accuses him of pulling a prank on her. He does remember dreaming of such activity but cannot believe that he was able to perform it. From talking with Zachs he suddenly realizes that he had done it and the tale evolves into a fast moving plot that follows his activities, some of which could turn him into somewhat of a new superhero. It is a story that includes a bit of physical science, cyber science, stock market manipulation, and history that involves Uncle Dimitri, his cousin Ellen, his Grandfather and others. Fundamentally however, it presents a seriously thought-producing for young, as well a older minds to contemplate
Summary: This should be thoroughly enjoyed, as well as providing serious thought paths by young readers.
*Amazon lists as: Ted Shepherd SLOWER
5* Young readers should thoroughly enjoy, while contemplating serious thought paths.
The Elephant in the Room: Bioethical Concerns in Human Milk Banking ISBN: 9781532371875, Cove International Publishers, e-book by September Williams & Mother’s Milk Bank, San Jose.
The book opens with a forward explaining that human milk banking has a century of history built on the mission of saving infants. However, badly needed development has only recently begun as the result of “the sheer passion of women seeking to help mothers and babies”. The idea is to develop milk banks as an altruistic culture of milk donation, its collection, processing and distribution based on scientific knowledge. Finally in 1985 the Human Milk Banking Association of North America was formed to provide and advance all pertinent information with a basis of the operation “to support the mother’s journey to successfully breastfeed her own infant.” The specifics of the program and relevant features are set forth here under six major headings: I, A Request for Consultation; II, Should we let Babies Starve? Bioethics, Cases & Stories; III, Clinical Medical Ethical Decision Making: the Box Method; IV, The Elephant in the Room: Infant Mortality, Premature Birth and Health Disparities; V, Famine in the Midst of Plenty; VI, Conclusions. There also is an Appendix, an interesting description “About Mother’s Bank San Jose”, which is a ‘working Milk Bank’, and a brief “About the Author”. Each of the almost incredible number of pertinent factors associated with these major headings is presented at some length. Randomly selected are the subjects of the cost of breast milk as a tissue versus as a corporate product; introduction of payment vs altruistic giving of milk and the many ramifications, including a pertinent case involving Cambodian women; a history of commodification of human beings and their parts; numerous cases of horrendous usage of individuals and/or their bodies/tissues without their permission; disclosure as well as existing barriers to it; changing fate of premature babies and increased need of an increasing milk supply and almost countless more factors requiring consideration. Each section is followed by an impressive list of references.
Discussion: The author has made a most interesting case for the establishment of “Milk Banks”, a subject seldom entering the minds of the everyday citizen. Further she has provided a highly detailed and quite all-encompassing discussion of the factors of importance in accomplishing this mission. And she has presented her material in a most readable form in spite of simultaneously fortifying her compelling arguments in a quite scholarly fashion bolstered with 176 supporting references. The only somewhat deterrent feature is the absence of judicious editing of the repetition/redundancy that occurs throughout the book.
4* 5* Subject rating; -1* as explained.
The Weight ISBN: 9781548323967, Serpentine Publishing, a novel in e-book by .Hubert Crouch.
The book opens with a Prologue in which Christine Connors enters a former chateau overlooking the Mediterranean that now is a 5 star hotel whose rooms start at one thousand dollars a night. She avoids identification by the surveillance cameras and proceeds to the rooms of Jamie Stein where, with a ruse of engaging him sexually, manages to have him inhale an overdose of heroin. She leaves just as unobtrusively. From this introduction, a tale of legal maneuvering, intrigue, cheating, intimidation, deceit and murder develops centering more or less in Fort Worth Texas. A sizeable number of interacting characters are involved. Most prominent are highly regarded defense attorney Jace Forman and ‘good ol’ boy’ personal injury specialist Cal Connors, who has made millions often by not quite legal but so far un-proven means, his daughter/law partner Christine, Jace’s long-time paralegal Darrin McKenzie who is in love with him, Leah Rosen, a young reporter who, with an O.K. from her editor and publisher, does an article exposing Cal’s shortcomings, Michael Randazzo hired by Cal as an ‘intimidator’, Charlene Knox, Cal’s defense lawyer, Jackie McLaughlin a former Austin cop, now a prominent PI, Reginald Cowan, a Brooklyn boy who was offered a far better scholarship to Texas for his law training and stayed on to now serve as the District Attorney when the case comes to trial. He has a history with both Cal and Jace. Another prominent character is Dr. Howell Crimm, an ‘expert witness’ used often by Cal whose testimony is in question as well as several other characters of lesser prominence in the story line.
Discussion: Attempting to offer further material with respect to the characters’ complicated interrelationships, the plots and sub-plots no doubt would be a disservice to the prospective reader. Suffice it to say this is another in the series presented by the author with a ‘carry-over’ of characters and their relationships and does not provide any ‘closure per se’ to the on-going action. Rather, it is a continuance of the series offering somewhat limited legalese and address of the legal portions of the story that leave even the reader who may have only limited knowledge of legal proceedings with questions. However, the pace is excellent providing a thriller/suspense vehicle that will appeal to many readers.
4* For legal thriller/suspense devotees; 3* for more ‘dedicated’ legal fans.
Un-Making a Murderer: The Framing of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, (First published by Gadfly Press, GB 2017) this e-book published, copyright and written by Shaun Attwood.
An introduction explains that the author’s story presents a follow-up to the widely viewed 2015 Documentary film production ‘Making a Murderer’. Specifically he states: “Watching the documentary made me want to help Steven and Brandan (the subjects of the Documentary). Being familiar with the Department of Corrections procedures, I posted some YouTube videos advising people how to send letters and money to them without violating the prison rules. The avalanche of positive responses was overwhelming. Some of the millions who watched ‘Making a Murderer’ went online to express their outrage at the blatant injustice.”
The prose that follows describes how Steven Avery was convicted of rape and attempted murder, exonerated after spending 18 years in prison and 2 years later on the verge of receiving $36 million in compensation was accused and convicted of another brutal murder. This time implicating his mentally challenged 16-year-old nephew as well. So, now within the body of this work, he describes what he terms as “The Art of Framing Innocent People” wherein he lists and provides lengthy descriptions of 9 strategies employed – Trigger Emotional Reactions; Conceal Other Suspects; Coerce False Confessions; Plant Evidence; Pay Expert Witnesses to Lie; Ensure Public Defenders work for the Prosecution; Neutralize Honest Witnesses; Procure Dishonest Witnesses; Hire Sociopathic Prosecutors; Rig the Jury. Also included are: a conjectural chapter on the identity of the killer of the second victim; What you can do for Steven and Brandan; Get a free book; Social-Media Links; Shaun Attwood’s True-Life Jail Experience; Other books by Shawn Attwood and a short author’s biography.
Discussion: Unfortunately this reviewer has not seen the Documentary so readers must be aware that my remarks with respect to the subject under discussion are made strictly from the written evidence provided on these pages. However, if the lengthy accounts presented here by the author contain even a modicum of truth, it would appear that there had been numerous inexcusable errors committed not only in jurisprudence procedures but additional misuse of power almost at inconceivable levels. Furthermore, when reading this account, one must be aware that the author himself is a former correctional institution inmate as “a former stock-market millionaire and Ecstasy supplier turned public speaker, author and activist who is banned from America for life.” Regardless, any reader who is aware of the seemingly duplicitous, dishonest, deceitful and even illegal activities indulged in by the DOJ, FBI, CIA and even by elected and formerly elected individuals to represent the citizens of the United States, the suggestions supplied by the author seem extremely reasonable indeed. Of course, this conclusion also depends heavily upon how much a reader can believe the material provided by a horribly divided and highly biased news media. As an aside, much of the repetitive material, although no doubt included to strengthen the author’s presentation, could be selectively edited to enhance readability.
3* 4* Interestingly informative exposé(?); -1 judicious editing would enhance enjoyment.
City of Angels ISBN: 9780692894286, an e-book written, Copyright and published by K. Patrick.
The author has provided a story set in California that primarily addresses a prominent problem apparently existent well beyond that state. The book is dedicated “to the nearly half a million children in the United States living in foster care, group homes and institutions. And to the thousands among them who age out of the system each year and are forced to find their way of life with little or no support.” To tell his story as completely as possible, and yet attempt to make it an enjoyable read, he has proceeded to set forth 740+ pages divided into 94 chapters. He also has included a sizeable number of characters in several differing situations. Further, to very clearly define the situation, he presented these individuals as distinctly characteristic of the best and worst types representing each side of the equation. Because of the diverse nature of the situations and the number of differing characters, a more usual description of the quite involved plot would be more extensive than really would seem feasible in a review. So, very briefly, a young boy enters the system, grows to just two months away from leaving when he is accused and found guilty of a murder that incarcerates him for life. Later, it is discovered that he had been falsely accused. He is released and in a most dramatic fashion is able to bring about quite drastic change.
This is a well-written book dealing with a monstrous social problem by an author who is most knowledgeable about the existing conditions, the unprincipled individuals in prominent positions within the system itself, the dishonest ambitious and uncaring politicians and how these situations develop, especially when aided and abetted by the divisive, unprincipled manner in which the judiciary from judges and district attorneys’ down to various levels of the police can use any means to subvert justice if pressure ‘dictates’. The author additionally has a fine grasp of both amateur and professional boxing and of the prison system and the inmates.
This is a long read and does suffer toward the latter part from some breakdown in proofing, probably for this exact reason. HOWEVER, the author has provided a story that moves so well that this offers only momentary annoyance and nothing more.
Conclusion: A book that begins as a rather simple ‘tear-jerker’ and develops into a serious look at several huge societal problems all interwoven in a story ranging from brutality to poignancy with well-developed characters and conducted at a pace which makes the book difficult to put down.
5* Interwoven societal problems presented in most enjoyably readable fashion.