Parul Sehgal of The New York Times reports for NY1 on newly released book titles and the world of publishing in "The Book Reader."
This week, "The Price of Silence," by William D. Cohen, the definitive account of the 2006 Duke lacrosse rape case.
Readers recalling the media circus surrounding the case might be forgiven for wondering if there really is anything left to say. But Caitlin Flanagan, who reviewed the book for the New York Times Book Review, writes that the “forensic level of reporting” allows to us to look afresh at the familiar facts.
The facts are these: In March of 2006, the Duke lacrosse team hired two strippers, one of whom would go on to claim she had been raped. The three accused were cleared of all charges, Duke paying each $20 million. The prosecutor was eventually disbarred for ethics breaches.
But the author’s real focus is on why so many at Duke assumed the players’ guilt. Cohen paints a picture of a school at which athletics outranks academics; where the basketball coach is the most powerful person on campus; and the lacrosse team, notorious. In 2006, they were 1 percent of the total student body but accounted for 25 percent of the university’s disorderly conduct cases and 50 percent of noise ordinance violations.
Flanagan writes, “Every parent planning to send a child to an ‘elite’ college dominated by an overly powerful athletic program should buy this book. For those with children thinking of Duke, it is required reading.”
Find more reviews of new books in the New York Times Book Review at www.nytimes.com/books.