I still think Adam Gopnik needed to cite me in the magazine.
Gopnik now says rather nice things about In Defense of Flogging online. Had he just done so in the article, parts of which were, so, let us say, "inspired," by my writing, I would be pleased instead of pissed. And despite Gopnik's ever-modest insistence, he does manage to "unpack" my argument rather well:
Peter Moskos’s In Defense of Flogging ... depends on an extended analogy, difficult to unpack in summary form. Moskos, a professor of law (and, not incidentally, a former Baltimore police officer) both does mean his “case for flogging”--he thinks that the system is so rotten than even restoring the cat would be better--and rather strongly, I think, doesn’t mean it. He doesn’t really want to flog the evil out of prisoners. He wants to flog the indifference out of the rest of us. Moskos (who, I’m informed, seems to have coined the phrase “natural rate of incarceration”) rightly calls prisons “an insidious marriage of entombment and torture,” and his provocative book makes many sanely provocative points; it is one I’ve urged on those who want to do more reading on the subject, and I’d urge it again now.I'm sure glad Gopnik liked my book. I'm also sure it would have saved a lot of hassle had he just said so earlier.
[Also, just FYI, I'm not a professor of law. Never have been. Never taken a law class in my life. The confusion comes from the name of my department: "The Department of Law, Police Science, and Criminal Justice Administration." Call me a criminologist or a sociologist or, if you must, a professor of police science.]