Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
or
Amazon Prime Free Trial required. Sign up when you check out. Learn More
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Abuse Excuse: And Other Cop-outs, Sob Stories, and Evasions of Responsibility [Paperback]

Alan M. Dershowitz
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 27.99
Price: CDN$ 22.39 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
You Save: CDN$ 5.60 (20%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
Want it delivered Monday, September 22? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $22.39  
Save Up to 90% on Textbooks
Hit the books in Amazon.ca's Textbook Store and save up to 90% on used textbooks and 35% on new textbooks. Learn more.
Join Amazon Student in Canada


Book Description

Oct. 1 1995
According to renowned defense attorney and Harvard law professor Alan M. Dershowitz, "abuse excuses" are enabling people to get away with murder - literally. From the Menendez brothers to Lorena Bobbitt, more and more Americans accused of violent crimes are admitting to the charges, but arguing that they shouldn't be held legally responsible. The reason: they're victims - of an abusive parent, a violent spouse, a traumatic experience, ethnic hatred, society at large, or anything else - who struck back at a real or perceived oppressor. And they couldn't help themselves, they say. In this provocative and important collection of essays, Dershowitz reviews a wide range of recent cases - including those of O. J. Simpson, Tonya Harding, and Woody Allen - and argues that the current vogue in victim defenses is antithetical to the ideals of our constitutional democracy. For Dershowitz, the foundations of American society are individual responsibility and the rule of law. And people who claim to be above the law - whatever the excuse - are no more than vigilantes.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Harvard Law professor and high-profile lawyer Dershowitz's collection of essays concerns the trend of criminal defendants claiming to be victims as a way of avoiding responsibility for their actions.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

What do "abused child," "black rage," "posttraumatic stress," and "Super Bowl Sunday" have in common? They are all reasons given by Americans seeking to avoid responsibility for alleged violent crimes. They are also the subject matter of an interesting series of essays by Dershowitz, professor at Harvard Law School and one of the most prominent of today's commentators on criminal law. The essays are brief (most only a few pages long), and each describes an actual case in which the excuse was raised as a defense. Dershowitz poses a truly interesting question: why do Americans remain sympathetic to the excuses offered by criminal defendants while at the same time demanding tougher criminal laws and punishment? He believes that we are genuinely concerned with victims and that this concern remains apparent even if the victim is also a criminal offender. For popular law collections.
Jerry E. Stephens, U.S. Court of Appeals Lib., Oklahoma City
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
CRIMINAL DEFENSE lawyers throughout the country eagerly watch the unfolding legal sagas of the Menendez brothers and Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

Customer Reviews

5 star
0
4 star
0
1 star
0
2.5 out of 5 stars
2.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Dershowitz's Book is Insipid And Dull Nov. 6 2003
Format:Paperback
For a man as educated and intelligent as Mr. Dershowitz, this was a surprisingly uninteresting and dull account of a very important issue. While I agree with Dershowitz's main tent -- our society has become less responsible in many ways, and that our law is a reflection of that -- his essays were, to put it mildly, insipid and boring. I realize that the mediums that he choose to broadcast his message -- newspapers -- constrain his ability to express his sentiments in all the proper nuance. (For instance, George Will, a respected columnist, writes for general audiences but never hesitates to express his comments in the language such comments deserve).
Also, after you have read one single essay from Mr. Dershowitz, there is absolutely no reason to read another one. Each essay talks about the same subject in almost the same fashion: that the abrogation of responsibility will ultimately result in the end of the rule of law (which requires that we be responsible for our actions) and democracy (which posits that elected officials are ultimately responsible for their actions). I would encourage careful readers to instead look at James Q. Wilson's "Moral Judgment: Does the Abuse Excuse Threaten our Legal System." Wilson's book goes into far more depth on this issue, offering theoretical and practical support for his arguments. Plus, Wilson is far more interesting. : )
Michael Gordon
Los Angeles
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but little substance June 5 2003
Format:Paperback
Interesting book, but at length it sounds more like one of the sob stories it purports to outline. It should be made clear that the book is not a book in a traditional sense, in that the thesis is delineated at the introduction but the bulk of the text is composed of short essays. Additionally, it's not entirely clear who the main audience is intended to be.
While Mr. Dershowitz certainly covers his topic well, less than halfway through the book his argument becomes repetitive and muddled. The controversy he rails against in one section could be used to support reasoning in another.
The author does not go into depth to explain why lawyers or justices take, or do not take, the positions they do. In this sense it is little more than a critique of society and the system. We in the public have been lead to believe that the justice system is adversarial. If so, then it is the responsibility of a good attorney to provide a zealous prosecution of his case - be it prosecution or defense - not necessarily to offer a responsible or truthful conclusion. Mr. Dershowitz does not address this issue. Thus, ultimately there is very little substance to his material.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but little substance June 5 2003
By J. Risse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Interesting book, but at length it sounds more like one of the sob stories it purports to outline. It should be made clear that the book is not a book in a traditional sense, in that the thesis is delineated at the introduction but the bulk of the text is composed of short essays. Additionally, it's not entirely clear who the main audience is intended to be.
While Mr. Dershowitz certainly covers his topic well, less than halfway through the book his argument becomes repetitive and muddled. The controversy he rails against in one section could be used to support reasoning in another.
The author does not go into depth to explain why lawyers or justices take, or do not take, the positions they do. In this sense it is little more than a critique of society and the system. We in the public have been lead to believe that the justice system is adversarial. If so, then it is the responsibility of a good attorney to provide a zealous prosecution of his case - be it prosecution or defense - not necessarily to offer a responsible or truthful conclusion. Mr. Dershowitz does not address this issue. Thus, ultimately there is very little substance to his material.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dershowitz's Book is Insipid And Dull Nov. 6 2003
By Michael Gordon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
For a man as educated and intelligent as Mr. Dershowitz, this was a surprisingly uninteresting and dull account of a very important issue. While I agree with Dershowitz's main tent -- our society has become less responsible in many ways, and that our law is a reflection of that -- his essays were, to put it mildly, insipid and boring. I realize that the mediums that he choose to broadcast his message -- newspapers -- constrain his ability to express his sentiments in all the proper nuance. (For instance, George Will, a respected columnist, writes for general audiences but never hesitates to express his comments in the language such comments deserve).
Also, after you have read one single essay from Mr. Dershowitz, there is absolutely no reason to read another one. Each essay talks about the same subject in almost the same fashion: that the abrogation of responsibility will ultimately result in the end of the rule of law (which requires that we be responsible for our actions) and democracy (which posits that elected officials are ultimately responsible for their actions). I would encourage careful readers to instead look at James Q. Wilson's "Moral Judgment: Does the Abuse Excuse Threaten our Legal System." Wilson's book goes into far more depth on this issue, offering theoretical and practical support for his arguments. Plus, Wilson is far more interesting. : )
Michael Gordon
Los Angeles
5.0 out of 5 stars So true! Jan. 2 2013
By Bella Leigh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Every single person who gets arrested or busted for a crime immediately uses the "abuse-excuse" it had to be their childhood or some other abuse situation. We have come to believe that every person has been abused, they must have been? or why would they rob a bank? steal? kill? become addicted to drugs or alcohol? Even if true, they were abused, what gives them the right to steal? to kill? to drive while drunk?

Bad things happen to good people every day, does that give them the excuse to break the law? to hurt others? to live a criminal life?

This book tells it like it is, we have become a society where we blame others for our own actions. We are responsible for what we do. good or bad, I guess we could all blame someone else, use the "abuse-excuse" but then what? We are a victim, so nothing after that is our responsibility?
4.0 out of 5 stars THE ABUSE EXCUSE April 27 2009
By L. J. Silva - Published on Amazon.com
The book offers a very interesting analysis on how abuse affects American socity and law; curiously, many people get use to be abused on a daily basis and never learned the tools to avoid it in every day life.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable book by a master attorney for our time Oct. 14 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Without doubt, Alan Dershowitz is a brilliant attorney and proves his thesis superbly. Although it is politically correct to attack lawyers...I for one think Mr. Dershowitz and Gerry Spence are Supreme Court material. Read this book and learn the art of critical thinking.
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category


Feedback