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Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing Hardcover – October, 1990

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In 1978, Chuck Stenzel decided to pledge Klan Alpine at Alfred University. On his first night as a pledge he died, a victim of a fraternity ritual gone awry. Nuwer's book uses this death as a starting point to study hazing and its part in organizations throughout America. Within the text and in a table at the end of the book, there is much information about the effects of hazing. Though sometimes graphic, this book is important because it offers proof that hazing is everywhere, not just in college fraternal organizations. The book belongs in public and academic libraries and on the shelves of leaders of groups where hazing may occur. (Photos not seen.)--Danna C. Bell, Marymount Univ. Lib., Arlington, Va.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Longstreet Pr (October 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 092926472X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0929264721
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,448,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Jeanie Robinson-Pownall on August 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is very valuable and informative, touching on the history of hazing rites and rituals. Its focus is on the 1978 tragic death of Alfred University student Chuck Stenzel, but also includes episodes of hazings in high schools and other Universities, and hazing still allowed in our military. (Be aware - there is a description of sadistic and sexual torture of a US Coast Guard seaman by his shipmates on the event of his first crossing of the equator that made me physically ill.)

I am a 1977 alumna of Alfred University and like the vast majority of my classmates I spent my four years there studying and working. I would not have had the time or the money to join a Greek organization even if I had wanted to. Chuck Stenzel selected the fraternity with the worst reputation for drinking, violence, and lack of respect for other people. Let me be the first to say that no one deserves to die because of poor choices and/or bad taste. Eileen Stevens (Mrs. Roy Stevens) apparently expected Alfred University to supervise her adult son's off-campus activities, an attitude that mystifies me to this day.

This book was cathartic me, and probably for others who suffered in a secondary or tertiary sense (having our hard-earned degrees devalued by the negative publicity) in the long and tortuous aftermath of Chuck's death. This book has allowed me the opportunity to comprehend the enormity of what Mrs. Stevens has accomplished in her anti-hazing crusade. I am certain she has saved scores (if not hundreds) of lives by her dedicated work in her son's name and memory. The entire country owes her an immense debt of gratitude.
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