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ABC of Relativity (Routledge Classics) Paperback – April 9, 2009

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415473828 ISBN-10: 0415473829 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Winner of the 2010 British Society of Criminology Book Prize 'This is an extraordinarily important book, full of rare insights and invaluable information. Shalev uses a well balanced blend of theory and data - including observations, interviews, and official documents -to lay bare the harsh and dehumanizing realities of these draconian prison environments... The book is extremely well written, engaging, and astute. It is a must read for scholars, prison policy-makers, and interested citizens alike.' -Professor Craig Haney, University of California, Santa Cruz 'Sharon Shalev combines theoretical skill and a fine eye for empirical detail to ask and answer all the right questions about these extraordinary (and expanding) institutions...Shalev succeeds where much literature on imprisonment fails: comparing the "internal" technologies of control -architectural design, techniques of constant surveillance, daily routine-with the "external" ideologies of justification. An important book.' -Professor Stanley Cohen, Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics 'The "Supermax" makes a high-technology contribution to the art of institutionalized inhumanity -offering architectural settings and regimes for physically isolating prisoners for protracted periods of time in extremely deprived circumstances, under the guise of achieving security-centered penological objectives. Sharon Shalev has provided us with a long-overdue authoritative, meticulously-researched portrait and thoughtful, scholarly analysis of this draconian innovation.' -Professor Hans Toch, School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany 'Throughout this book, Shalev creates an atmosphere that makes the reader feel as though they are within the walls of the most secure prison in the US. Supermax is an interesting and provocative book filled with important and rare observation which are critical for understanding the inner controls of supermax prisons. The macro- and micro-level analysis of supermax prisons is ideal for a variety of readers, even those with rudimentary knowledge of the supermax phenomenon. The theoretical approach, coupled with extensive reference to empirical data, provides a unique vantage point from which to examine supermax prisons in the US. Supermax is a must read for prison scholars, policy makers, academics, or anyone fascinated with, or interested in, the rise of these institutions.' - Rachelle Larocque, PhD Candidate, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge in the Howard Journal, May 2011 'This is a very thought provoking book.' - Donald Urquhart, Retired Police Officer and Chair of the Scottish Community Safety Network 'Shalev ultimately provides a meticulous, authoritative account that effectively combines theory with documentary material in an accessible format. In this regard Supermax provides for a broad readership including academics, students and the general public while also serving as vital reading for legal practitioners and advocates, correctional staff and policymakers along with interested community members.' 'Shalev presents powerful arguments against supermax that are crafted in a way which ultimately confronts and cuts through the official reasoning and rhetoric that comprise powerful justificatory discourses underpinning the continuing push for prison securitization. It is for this reason and along with others described above that Shalev's book is a must read.' -Bree Carlton, School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University, in the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, Vol 44 Iss 2 'This is a highly accomplished work based upon what must have been a particularly harrowing piece of research regarding the supermax prison estate in the United States.' 'It is a highly accessible and compelling piece...extremely interesting and stimulating to read...' 'This is a stimulating and thought-provoking book on a matter that is at the extremes of penological debate, however the overarching themes of security and risk management as justifications for such measures integrate the book well into wider debates surrounding punishment in the 21st century. It is a refreshing engagement with the wider view of the offender and society being potential victims of an over-enthusiastic penal policy...I would recommend this book to anyone interested in punishment and penal policy.' -Jennifer Sloan, University of Sheffield, in International Review of Victimology, vol 17 no 2.

About the Author

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970). A celebrated mathematician and logician, Russell was and remains one of the most genuinely widely read and popular philosophers of modern times.

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Product Details

  • Series: Routledge Classics
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (April 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415473829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415473828
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,188,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970). Philosopher, mathematician, educational and sexual reformer, pacifist, prolific letter writer, author and columnist, Bertrand Russell was one of the most influential and widely known intellectual figures of the twentieth century. In 1950 he was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature in 1950 for his extensive contributions to world literature and for his "rationality and humanity, as a fearless champion of free speech and free thought in the West."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Wikman VINE VOICE on July 13, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Bertrand Russel was an excellent writer, and one of the few philosophers who truly understood relativity. This book is also a classic. However, the book attempts to explain relativity to the layman using "text" only. The book is not mathematical, and it contains very few graphs or diagrams. This is not the best approach to explaining relativity. Good graphs/diagrams/images can to a certain extent replace equations. There are many modern introductory books and multimedia presentations that does a better at job at introducing relativity.
I recommend this book as a "classic", but not as an introduction to relativity for the non-physicist.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Cevat Cokol on April 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
I think this book can justifiably be called ABZ of relativity. The author sincerely tries to tell us about relativity by building up from basic elements, but at the point it gets to the stuff that is supposed be really interesting, it becomes unintelligible for the less gifted. He gives three pages to tell us about the difference between mass and weight, but the central concept of "interval" is used for some pages before being poorly defined and explained. I am positively sure he understands relativity and all, and I am sure those definitions are correct in the strictest sense, however they didn't help a beginner, at least in this case. Having said this though, this book is still a very nice read and could be read even if only for its strange humor and wisecracks.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Russell's book was first published in 1925; later editors have made some changes to accommodate more recent development in Relativity theory, but Russell's illustrations and text remain as illuminating as they always were.

He points out, "A certain type of superior person is fond of asserting that 'everything is relative.' This is, of course, nonsense, because, if EVERYTHING were relative, there would be nothing for it to be relative to. However, without falling into metaphysical absurdities it is possible to maintain that everything in the physical world is relative to an observer. This view... has led philosophers and uneducated people into confusions. They imagine that the new theory proves EVERYTHING in the physical world to be relative, whereas, on the contrary, it is wholly concerned to exclude what is relative and arrive at a statement of physical laws that shall in no way depend upon the circumstances of the observer." (Pg. 16)

He observes, "Physics must... be concerned with those features which a physical process has in common for all observers... This requires that the LAWS of phenomena should be the same whether the phenomena are described as they appear to one observer or as they appear to another. This single principle is the generating motive of the whole theory of relativity." (Pg. 23)

He explains, "When people said that space had three dimensions, that meant... that three quantities were necessary in order to specify the position of a point in space, but that the method of assigning these quantities was wholly arbitrary. With regard to time, the matter was thought to be quite different... it was thought that the method of fixing position in space and the method of fixing position in time could be made wholly independent of each other...
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