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Snitch: Informants, Cooperators, and the Corruption of Justice Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 27, 2007

ISBN-10: 1586484923

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (November 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586484923
  • ASIN: B001G7RCXE
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,060,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Brown (Queens Reigns Supreme) presents the case that harsh minimum sentencing laws have led federal prosecutors to rely too much on unreliable informants and cooperators, and too little on solid investigative work; the sentences are also, he argues, feeding the anti-snitch movement. Brown correctly notes that long minimum sentences give defendants greater incentive to lie in exchange for a reduced sentence, and he relates anecdotes about deals with unsavory criminals. But these cases don't provide any analysis of whether such arrangements are really antithetical to justice and corrupt the system. For instance, in discussing the agreement struck with unrepentant Mafia turncoat Sammy Gravano, the author doesn't assess the possibility that such plea bargains with mob leaders have contributed to the decline of traditional organized crime. Further, the author's critique of pre-emptive indictments in alleged terrorist plots based on informers could have given more weight to the legitimate fears that waiting too long to stop such a plot may be too risky. The serious issues raised by the federal government's reliance on informants and cooperative witnesses merit a more thorough and nuanced analysis than Brown provides. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Brown's evidence is overwhelming" -- Legal Times, December 24th, 2007

"This chilling investigative report explores an evil that affects almost every American... Snitch is necessary reading as we go into a presidential election year." -- Penthouse, December 2007 issue

More About the Author

Ethan Brown is the author of three, investigative-reporting driven books on crime and criminal justice policy:

His first book--Queens Reigns Supreme: Fat Cat, 50 Cent and the Rise of the Hip-Hop Hustler--was published by Random House in 2005 to rave reviews in the Boston Globe ("diligently researched and trenchantly observed...a fascinating look at the way one generation's reality becomes the next's mythology"), The Village Voice ("one of the first reliable accounts [of the crack era]...the fact that Brown was able to publish so thorough an account is itself notable") and Publishers Weekly ("A vigorous account of an American subculture that's colorful, influential and, given the body count, tragic").

Ethan's second book--Snitch: Informers, Cooperators and the Corruption of Justice--was published by Public Affairs in 2007. The Legal Times wrote of Snitch that "Many police and prosecutors reading his book (or this review) will surely cry foul. Their cries will too often be proven insincere upon close examination, however, because Brown's evidence...is overwhelming." Brown University economics professor Glenn Loury praised Snitch as "must reading for anyone concerned about the future of 'law and order' in America." Manhattan Institute Scholar John McWhorter called Snitch one of the "strongest, smartest" books about race in the past decade.

Ethan's third book--Shake the Devil Off: A True Story of the Murder that Rocked New Orleans--was published by Henry Holt in the fall of 2009. Evan Wright, author of the New York Times bestseller Generation Kill, called Shake the Devil Off "a chilling portrait of a broken hero failed by the system." George Pelecanos, New York Times bestselling author of The Turnaround, said that "Ethan Brown examines a notorious murder case, rescues it from the talons of tabloid journalists, and comes up with something much more than a true crime book. Shake the Devil Off is a gripping suspense story, an indictment of the military's treatment of our soldiers in and out of war, and a celebration of the resilience and worth of a great American city." In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called Shake the Devil Off "heartbreaking" and Nate Blakeslee, author of Tulia, hailed the book as "a 'coming home' story that rivals any written about veterans of the war in Iraq, and a true crime account that raises the bar for the genre. Measured, thoroughly reported, and written with true empathy." David Simon, creator of The Wire and author of Homicide and The Corner, said that "looking more deeply at that from which the rest of us turned in horror, Ethan Brown has transformed an ugly and disturbing shard of the post-Katrina anguish. In this book, that which was lurid and sensational becomes, chapter by chapter, something genuinely sad and reflective, something that now has true meaning for New Orleans and for all of us." In September of 2009, Shake The Devil Off was chosen as a "Critics' Pick" in the Washington Post and an "Editors' Choice" by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. In December of 2009, the Washington Post named Shake the Devil Off one of the best books of 2009.

Customer Reviews

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Academic critics like Prof.
The Dilettante
With the current fascination with gangsters in America, and gangsta rap read what really goes on behind the scenes.
Gorilla Convict Publications
The information here is both fascinating and appalling.
Darcia Helle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rasheed Barnes on January 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Highly recommended read. I don't know where Brown's from but he definitely delivers a horrifically accurate image of growing up in drug-plagued New York in the 80's in Queens Reigns Supreme. In this recent work, Snitch, Brown tackles the flaws in police-informant relationships. Specifically, the measures informants reach when their freedom's at stake. Brown also sheds light on the dangers of stat-hungry prosecutors purely seeking conviction numbers before justice. If you have the slightest interest in criminal justice (or injustice) buy, borrow or steal this book. This is the ugly truth to the story of police cooperation....I wish this book would been published prior to the hype around Stop Snitching so it could have served as some sort of reference....one thing's for sure, Cam'ron is still a jackass.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gorilla Convict Publications on December 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Snitch is a must read. With the current fascination with gangsters in America, and gangsta rap read what really goes on behind the scenes. All the bravado and thuggish attitudes is just for show because when these so-called gangstas get behind closed doors they are snitches on whoever and whatever, fabricating and lying on people. That is the truth of American Justice and Ethan shows it all with no punches." [...]
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The American legal system has been taken over by government informers, cooperators, and agent provocateurs and there is no more honest police investigation of crimes, and the gov't has the *potential to now begin spying on everyone. Except now, due to the exposures of the NSA, we do know that the government is spying on everyone in the world, including all of the citizens of the USA. Ethan Brown's take is that the prosecutions wrought by snitches in drug and racketeering cases opened the door for paramilitary policing, widespread gov't spying, and abuse of the rights of innocent citizens. He could add that this is a threat to the entire human rights of citizens and the people of the world, but he does not have to, because we see this unfolding everyday with the creation of a corporate-gov't police state. Read this book to understand how all this functions, and how snitching undermines all freedom and democratic rights.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading Queens Reigns Supreme, I was eagerly waiting for this book to be released. Ethan Brown is a great writer and investigative reporter! Would love to read more books and articles by him
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