Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Green Books Review: Driven to Kill – Vehicles as Weapons

This review is part of the Green Books campaign. Today, 100 bloggers are reviewing 100 great books printed in an environmentally friendly way. Our goal is to encourage publishers to get greener and readers to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books.

This campaign is organized by Eco-Libris, a company working to “green up” the book industry by promoting the adoption of green practices, balancing out books by planting trees and supporting green books.

A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website.

The book I received to review is printed on recycled paper.

In “Driven to Kill, J. Peter Rothe examines the use of vehicles in cases of assault, abduction, rape, gang warfare, terrorism, suicide and murder. He asks the question, “What separates an everyday driver from a motorized menace?”

“Driven to Kill” is listed under the sociology-criminology genre and is recommended for an audience consisting of sociologists, criminologists, policy makers and police, as well as public health, injury prevention and traffic safety professionals.

The last on the list is what attracted me to this book. Several years ago, I was the coordinator for a local traffic safety project and I really learned a lot about that issue as I worked with a wide range of traffic professionals, including local police departments and state agencies.

Also, my bachelor’s degree is in social sciences. As such, I love to read about social issues that affect people on a personal level … particularly those found in their own backyard.

So, not only was the book of interest to me because of the topic, I also wanted to support Eco-Libris’ attempt to get the word out about how books can be printed responsibly and sustainably. For more information about Eco-Libris, go to their Web site (www.ecolibris.net).

And now for the review!

From the back of the book:

“In Driven to Kill, J. Peter Rothe unflinchingly examines the use of vehicles in cases of assault, abduction, rape, gang warfare, terrorism, suicide, and murder. How can a car be such an enabling force for the gamut of society’s most heinous crimes?”

The average reader may, understandably, find this book slightly dry, but for someone interested in this subject matter, it comes across as fascinating and intriguing. Full of useful information, the author obviously spent quite a bit of time researching the issue of vehicles as weapons.

Anyone involved in traffic safety will tell you the average vehicle is equal to a 2,400 pound torpedo, capable of doing a great amount of damage. Used the wrong way to intentionally harm someone, that torpedo can quickly become a rocket streaking down the highway.

Rothe looks at the damage that can be done when a vehicle is out of control, but he also examines other ways a car can be used to commit crimes.

I found the book very educational and it did, indeed, expand my knowledge of this topic. The chapters are very well arranged to make it easy to follow.

Plus, he adds some interesting stories – although some may be a bit graphic for sensitive readers.

I would recommend this book to anyone who deals with traffic on a regular basis, such as police officers. The insights gained could save a life.


debnance said...

Mmmm...not sure this would be my cup of tea, but it's nice that is made from recycled paper!

Serena said...

Interesting topic, but I'm also not sure I would be interested in this one.

therubycanary said...

This sounds fascinating and timely to me.

When I was in college, my best friend's mother was made a parapalegic by her ex-husband running her down with his car and shooting her in the neck. They were able to add the car as weapon to his charges when it went to trial, ensuring that he would not get parole.

mylastread said...

Life is too short to read mediocore books that won't add value to my life. This isn't a book that I would like to read.