Monday, December 6, 2010
Stanley Alpert was an Assistant U.S. Attorney when he was kidnapped off the streets of New York in 1998. His book, The Birthday Party: A Memoir of Survival, tells a fascinating story of crime victimization from the eyes of an attorney. It's part survival story, part musing on crime, and part memoir on New York City history when crime rates were much higher than they are today. I think the book is fantastic, and you can read it very quickly. Best of all, it's selling at a rock bottom price right now ($3.82) on Amazon.com.
I assigned it to my students this semester as "optional" reading, and Alpert was kind enough to come by and address them in person. While criminal law students will sometimes meet prosecutors, defense attorneys, and even exonerated inmates, they probably have very little exposure to crime victims. Alpert's book provides a perspective they might otherwise miss.