What We Are Reading Today: Felids and Hyenas of the World by Jose R. Castello

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Updated 26 October 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Felids and Hyenas of the World by Jose R. Castello

From the Leopard Cat of Asia, the Black-footed Cat of Africa, and the Amur Tiger of Siberia to South America’s Ocelots and North America’s Bobcats, the wildcats known as felids are among the most fascinating and spectacular of all animals. This stunningly illustrated book is the most comprehensive and user-friendly guide to the world’s felids and their often misunderstood relative, the hyenas. Covering and illustrating every species and subspecies, the guide features more than 150 superb full-color plates that incorporate more than 600 photographs and show species in similar poses for quick and easy comparison. 

Drawing on the latest taxonomy and research, the facing-page species accounts provide distribution maps, common and scientific names, and detailed information on key identification features, distribution, behavior, reproduction, similar species, habitat, conservation status, and where to observe each species. An ideal field companion for use anywhere in the world, the book will appeal to both casual nature enthusiasts and seasoned professionals.


What We Are Reading Today: Privilege and Punishment by Matthew Clair

Updated 27 November 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Privilege and Punishment by Matthew Clair

The number of Americans arrested, brought to court, and incarcerated has skyrocketed in recent decades. Criminal defendants come from all races and economic walks of life, but they experience punishment in vastly different ways. Privilege and Punishment examines how racial and class inequalities are embedded in the attorney-client relationship, providing a devastating portrait of inequality and injustice within and beyond the criminal courts.

Matthew Clair conducted extensive fieldwork in the Boston court system, attending criminal hearings and interviewing defendants, lawyers, judges, police officers, and probation officers. In this eye-opening book, he uncovers how privilege and inequality play out in criminal court interactions.

When disadvantaged defendants try to learn their legal rights and advocate for themselves, lawyers and judges often silence, coerce, and punish them. Privileged defendants, who are more likely to trust their defense attorneys, delegate authority to their lawyers, defer to judges, and are rewarded for their compliance.

Clair shows how attempts to exercise legal rights often backfire on the poor and on working-class people of color, and how effective legal representation alone is no guarantee of justice.

Superbly written and powerfully argued, Privilege and Punishment draws needed attention to the injustices that are perpetuated by the attorney-client relationship in today’s criminal courts, and describes the reforms needed to correct them.