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Currently reading

The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia
David E. Hoffman
The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov, Diana Burgin, Katherine Tiernan O'Connor
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
Arun Gandhi, Marshall B. Rosenberg
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Eric Metaxas, Timothy Keller
Parting the Waters: Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement 1954-63
Taylor Branch
The Path to Power
Robert A. Caro
The Nature of Nebraska: Ecology and Biodiversity
Paul A. Johnsgard
Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original
Robin D.G. Kelley
Cutting for Stone
Abraham Verghese
Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy - Emily Bazelon

I don't have any kids in school, so this isn't a pressing issue for me personally. But it's a national concern, and as such, I wanted to know more about it. I have always had a lot of respect for Emily Bazelon, and for her take on this issue specifically, so I figured I'd give the book a shot.


What I like about Bazelon's approach is the way she carefully, methodically works to get beneath the hype (which inevitably attends any situation where there's even an off-hand accusation of bullying) and analyze what's really going on. Over and over again, she identifies the complexities in stories that people on all sides would like to paint as black-and-white. What she finds is that there are few truly sadistic bullies or truly helpless victims, but that these scenarios are often suffused with miscommunication and a disturbing lack of empathy from one or more of the people involved.


I also like her common-sense skewering of Facebook, and their ham-handed way of dealing with this issue.


It was a good read, well worth the time. Someone with a more personal stake in the issue might well find it overly academic, I suppose.